Dictators want to be worshipped’ — Atiku breaks silence on closure of AIT, Raypower
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the suspension of AIT and RayPower FM broadcast licence by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), According to TheCable.
The regulatory agency suspended the stations indefinitely on Thursday, citing breach of its rules.
In a statement issued on his behalf by Paul Ibe, his spokesman, Atiku said the action has revealed a “dangerous dark and anti-media agenda” to stifle critical voices in the country.
He said any situation where the media could not freely criticise the government posed a grave danger to the country’s democracy.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the last general election said Nigeria would not have a “vibrant democratic order if the media were is under totalitarian threats from a supposed democratic government”.
He said the war against the media was the first stage to turn democracy into full blown dictatorship.
“Dictators want to be worshiped rather than being criticised and held accountable for non-performance or actions. That is why they find democratic order an inconvenience to their sinister desires to kill free speech,” he said.
“If the press is not free, the situation will inevitably lead to dictatorship and endanger Nigerians’ struggles to entrench democracy in the country.”
He said it was impossible to love democratic values and hate free press at the same time.
According to him, democracy is not a government of kings or lords who feel superior to the people and not accountable.
Atiku said if Nigerians did not defend free speech and free press, their own freedoms may be ultimately jeopardised by a government “intolerance of criticisms”.