The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Senator Solomon Adokwe has urged the presidency not use government broadcast agencies for political agenda.
He stated this during the budget defense of parastatals under the Ministry of Information, saying agencies like “the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) were primarily created for service to Nigerians.”
He said the staff of government media agencies were being paid with money which collectively belonged to Nigerians, adding that their service should be to Nigerians firstly.
Senator Adokwe recalled that during the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the NTA and others were accused of being one sided, lamenting that today, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was doing the same thing it had condemned.
“In other climes, the broadcast industry is in the interest of the country and not for commercial or the interest of the party in power. Nigerians pay them not the government, and their services should be to the nation.
“That is why the BBC can be against the government of that country sometimes. The country should decide what they want the outfits to be”, he said, adding that one thing that had been lacking was the political will of the President to allow them operate freely.
Speaking later with journalists on the letter which ex President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote to President Mohammadu Buhari concerning 2019 elections, Adokwe said Obasanjo expressed his personal opinion.
He, however, differed by insisting that the PDP was a very viable option to APC, adding that the PDP was waiting for the third force to come on board.
He said the key politicians in Nigeria belonged to either PDP or APC, explaining that usually when people were in power, they were blindfolded, but see better after they left office.
Speaking on Buhari’s ambition, to re-contest in 2019, he said he will want Buhari to contest noting that it will make it easier for PDP to defeat APC.
“If President Buhari recontests, PDP would defeat him, but if Nigerians or his party tells him to step down, that will make it better for him”, he noted.