National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has berated the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over the decision to clampdown on the Channels Television over the interview granted by Governor Samuel Ortom.
The group described the NBC action as overbearing, declaring that the action was clearly an act of “professional intimidation, disrespect for democratic ethos and a flagrant abuse of regulatory power.”
NAS capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a statement titled “On NBC Increasing Assault on Press Freedom” and made available to LEADERSHIP in Yenagoa, said the action of NBC is unbecoming of an impartial regulator.
He said, “The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) deplores this reaction of the NBC to the interview granted by Governor Ortom. We wish to restate our concerns over the Commission’s incredible disdain for professional journalistic ethics and political neutrality, a blatantly partisan interpretation of its core mandate and a growing intolerance for freedom of expression by Nigerians, and by extension press freedom.
“Its predilection to suppress views considered dissenting or critical of the government through harassment, and intimidation of broadcasting stations is unbecoming of the professionalism and patriotism expected of a regulatory agency. NBC has regrettably reduced itself to an appendage of the current administration, awkwardly abandoning its core mandate to create an enabling environment for broadcasting to thrive in our country,” he said
According to Owoaje, NBC actions have contributed to make Reporters Without Borders rank Nigeria 120 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index listing the country as one of the worst countries for journalists to stay.