DAAR communication, owners of African Independent Televison AIT has responded to a recent claim by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu that it denied President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC access to use their media platform during the campaign periods.
Shehu had alleged at an event last week that both the NTA and AIT did not treat Buhari and the APC fairly during the elections.
The media house released a statement on Wednesday, October 21st, denying the allegation,and claiming that as a “responsible” media organisation, it made its platform open for all political actors irrespective of their political parties.
Below is an excerpt:
On the allegation of maltreatment through the rejection and denial of political campaign space on our station, we wish to state categorically and emphatically that at no time did we reject or deny the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) broadcast space on our station –AIT.
We subscribe to the laws of the land as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and other Acts of the National Assembly.
We are guided by the tenets of media practice which are professionalism, fairness, objectivity and balance irrespective of political affiliation.
At the beginning of the electioneering process meant to herald the 2015 elections and as has been our practice since 1999 we opened our stations to all the contesting political parties and their respective candidates on all our broadcast platforms; RayPower FM, Faaji FM and AIT.
In accordance with the ethics of our business; media bookings, the terms of the contract, the discount offered amongst others are usually contractual obligations which are sacrosanct and exclusive only to the parties involved but if and when the need arises, we are willing and ready to tender all the contract documents to the public for their information and knowledge.
We feel pained, disappointed and betrayed by the allegation of maltreatment of the APC’s Presidential Campaigns by Mallam Garba Shehu, who at various times requested for unusual discounts and concessions, at short notices, which we often obliged in our spirited efforts of ensuring that we engaged all political parties, most especially the APC in our broadcasts so that we would be fair to all parties.
We have extended our patriotic hands of fellowship to all the political actors and indeed everyone to pull together for the sake of our dearly beloved nation – Nigeria. This, is the global best practice, after elections and the attendant politics, national interest takes the centre-stage.