Vision FM Shut Down For Discussing ‘Incompetence’ Of NIA DG

Vision FM Shut Down For Discussing 'Incompetence' Of NIA DG
Vision FM Abuja

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has shut an Abuja-based radio station, Vision FM, for discussing the extension of the appointment of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General, Rufai Abubakar and his alleged incompetence.

In a letter addressed to Vision FM’s Managing Director on Wednesday, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) claimed it sanctioned the broadcasting outfit for airing content harmful to national security in one of its programmes, ‘Idon Mikiya’ on January 5, 2022.

NBC pointed out that the station breached section 39 (3) (b) of the 1999 Constitution that imposed restrictions on issues relating to government security services or agencies.

It said: “Your discussion of issues, including appointments of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) constitutes a breach of the provision of section 39 (3) (b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which imposes restrictions on matters concerning government security services or agencies established by law.”

The Commission fined the media outlet N5 million and suspended the programme for six months from January 28, 2022.

It claimed that transmitting trade secrets and other issues regarding a national security agency was an act prejudicial to national security.

In December, President Muhammadu Buhari extended the tenure of Abubakar as the DG of NIA, despite internal protests against his reappointment.

Top NIA brass and critics of Buhari’s government had queried the appointment of Abubakar in 2018.

They complained about his competence, nationality and the motive behind his appointment.

One of the criticisms against the NIA boss appointment was how he allegedly failed his promotion examinations into directorship rank on three different occasions before being compulsorily retired.

Aside from Abubakar’s alleged lack of qualification for the NIA top job, some directors in the agency accused the President of tribalism and religious bias in reappointing him.

The extension of his appointment in November took effect from January 10 2022, the same day he was first appointed the NIA boss in 2018.

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