The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has tackled the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for sanctioning Channels Television over its interview with the group.
Emma Powerful, the IPOB spokesman, accused NBC of being undemocratic with the sanction and ignoring broadcasts featuring what Ahmad Gumi, a prominent Islamic cleric, had discussed with bandits.
Recall that NBC directed the “immediate stop” of Channels TV’s ‘Politics Today’ programme which had featured Powerful on Sunday.
In a letter to the TV station, Armstrong Idachaba (pictured), acting NBC director-general, had said the IPOB spokesman made inciting comments without being cautioned by the anchor.
He had also said some of the comments from IPOB — which the Nigerian government designated as a terrorist organisation in 2017 — “amount to subversion of constituted authority.”
But in a statement on Tuesday, the secessionist group alleged that the NBC was being partial in its judgement. It cited the case of Gumi, who has discussed his meeting with bandits in the past during live TV programmes.
“We are not surprised but along with all good men and women of conscience, we strongly condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this wicked and undemocratic action,” it said.
“How many times has the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gunmi, met with Fulani bandits and the outcome of their parley aired on national televisions without NBC batting an eyelid? How many times have the Boko Haram leader, Shekau’s message and threats been aired uncensored on national television without NBC imposing any sanctions on NTA?
“We have always said it, that Nigeria and its security agencies lose sleep when a matter has to do with IPOB and Biafra.
Nigeria has not sanctioned her Minister of Communications, a known terror apologist and staunch supporter of mass murderers, yet she is using state instruments of intimidation against an innocent media house for interviewing a spokesperson of a persecuted people.
“Why is Nigeria always afraid of the truth? After spreading blatant falsehood about how it murdered Ikonso, the Imo State Commander of Estern Security Network (ESN), IPOB was contacted to put the records straight, after which all hell broke loose at NBC.
“That Aso Rock viciously and wickedly turned against their long term buddy, Channels Television, tells you all you need to know about Fulani Janjaweedism. It confirms that you can’t be friends with this bunch of hardened terrorists in power in Nigeria.
“Nigerian media initially failed to investigate and report the accurate information about the death of Commander Ikonso and those with him. Sections of the media only peddled lies and fake news dished out by the same security agencies that murdered Ikonso in his sleep.”
The statement added that the federal government “cannot suppress the truth as far as IPOB” and the group’s demand for a Biafran state is concerned. “We will always put the records straight because the facts will always speak for itself,” it added.