TMG Slams AIT, accuses station of double standards over coverage blackout

FROM LEFT: PROJECT MANAGER, TRANSITION MONITORING GROUP (TMG), MR LAZARUS APIR, TMG CHAIRMAN, MR IBRAHIM ZIKIRULLAHI AND THE VICE CHAIRMAN, HAJIA LIMOTA GOROSO, AT A NEWS CONFERENCE. PHOTO: NAN

FROM LEFT: PROJECT MANAGER, TRANSITION MONITORING GROUP (TMG), MR LAZARUS APIR, TMG CHAIRMAN, MR IBRAHIM ZIKIRULLAHI AND THE VICE CHAIRMAN, HAJIA LIMOTA GOROSO, AT A NEWS CONFERENCE. PHOTO: NAN

A civil society group, Transition Monitoring Group, Monday, accused the management of Africa Independent Television, AIT, of double standards over what it called systemic blackout of reporting TMG’s activities.

Chairman of the group, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, said in a statement in Abuja that while AIT was recently quick to condemn the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged directive barring the TV station from covering his activities, the broadcaster has not deemed it fit to explain to the public why it since ordered its reporters to cease coverage of all TMG activities.

“TMG has been on the receiving end of coverage black out by AIT on account of a fundamental disagreement we had with a shadowy group known as the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG). It is pertinent to recall that in the build up to the 2015 general elections, we took exceptions to the NEDG use of TMG corporate name and identity to raise funds for its Presidential Elections Debate without our prior consent.

“AIT which hosts the NEDG secretariat and whose key staffs virtually control the group for a few vested interests did not find TMG’s push for transparency and probity funny. The broadcaster therefore felt the way to punish TMG is to order a blackout of coverage of its activities”, Zikirullahi said.

He added that as at last count, the TMG has organised 22 events which AIT refused to cover despite extending invitation to them and that they have it on good authority that the order to boycott TMG activities is a corporate decision taken by the management of AIT.

The TMG boss pointed out that while they were not bothered about the decision of AIT to black them out, it is important to stress that AIT cannot approbate and simultaneously reprobate and that it amounts to hypocrisy for the station to complain of an alleged directive by the President-elect to prevent it from covering his events, while at the same time blacking out organisations that disagree with its style and tendencies.

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