The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has condemned the sanctions on AIT, Channels TV and ARISE TV by the National Broadcast Commission, NBC, for their coverage during the EndSARS protest.
The three television stations were fined N3 million each by the media regulatory body on Monday.
Reacting to the development, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the fine imposed on the media houses was a fresh attempt to further gag the media and suppress free speech.
The statement read, “The PDP asserts that the rush to impose monetary fines on the television stations by the National Broadcast Commission (NBC), smacks of a fresh attempt to further gag the media, suppress free speech and Nigerians’ access to information.
“Indeed, this clampdown on broadcast stations, if anything, has heightened widespread public apprehensions of attempts at concealments of details and suppression of material evidence relating to human rights violations during the protest.
“In fact, this display of high-handedness by the NBC has hugely detracted from the efforts being made by well-meaning Nigerians to douse the tension in the land and reassure Nigerians at this critical time.
“The NBC should rescind this rushed clampdown and handle its regulatory role more professionally.
“Our party holds that, in the course of information handling, especially in a crisis situation as we witnessed in the last two weeks, where caution is required, draconian measures should not be an option. Rather, all efforts should be towards national healing.
“Instead of seeking to gag the media, Nigerians would rather expect establishments like the NBC to be on the side of the people by urging government agencies to come up with information, particularly, such that contain critical pieces of evidence that would guarantee justice for victims of brutality by unscrupulous security operatives,” the statement added.