The All Progressives Congress (APC) has refuted widespread reports credited to General Muhammadu Buhari specifically barring the African Independent Television (AIT), from covering his official and family engagements ‘till further notice’, saying ‘all media are free to cover the activities of the President-elect.’’
In a statement issued in Abuja, Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the incoming Buhari Administration will not discriminate against any media organization, irrespective of its role during the electioneering campaign leading up to the recent polls.
The development follows Monday’s reported ban placed on the AIT media by the President-elect and confirmed by the Director of Press of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mallam Garba Shehu, over coverage of activities involving his office and family.
“AIT has been asked to stay aside based on security and family concerns. In addition, General Buhari has decided that they will have to resolve some issues relating to issues of standard and ethics.
“We will be talking with them to try and resolve the matter but for now, the station has been asked to stay aside because, like I said, there are some family and security concerns.
“They have been asked to step down their coverage until we resolve the matter with them on ethics and standards,” Shehu said.
Members of the AIT crew were at the Defence House to cover a meeting between the President-elect and a visiting Cuban delegation, led by its Ambassador to Nigeria.
Responding, the APC statement noted, however, that there was need for all media organizations to observe the highest level of professional standards in carrying out their duties.
”There is a Code of Ethics guiding the practice of journalism in Nigeria, and this demands every journalist to ensure a strict adherence to the highest levels of ethics and professionalism in carrying out their duties.
”There must be repercussions, within the realms of the law, for media organizations which have wantonly breached the Code of Ethics of the journalism profession and turned themselves to partisans instead of professionals. But such repercussions will not include barring any accredited media organization from covering the activities of the President-elect,” APC said.