Goodluck Jonathan How ex-president punished me for censoring PDP hate speeches – Ex-NTA boss

Mayaki was subsequently removed from the position and replaced by the incumbent, Sola Omole.

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The former acting Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Musa Mayaki has revealed how he was punished by the Goodluck Jonathan administration for censoring insulting statements made by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during on-air campaigns.

Mayaki was subsequently removed from the position and replaced by the incumbent, Sola Omole.

The former NTA boss made the disclosure during an interview with Leadership during the weekend.

“Although I can’t really understand why these things happened the way they did during the 2015 polls, because when I was DG there was election in Edo State. When the PDP came with about N35 million for live coverage of their campaign activities in the state, I took the money and then when they started the campaign I just saw on air- direct live- that it was all insult upon insult,” Mayaki said.

“It was not even the journalists covering the campaign that called me and drew my attention; it was our secretary of the board that called me and said, ‘Mr Mayaki, do you see what is going on on-air?’ So, I called the man who is on transmission, Mr Balogun, and said, ‘What can we do about this development?’ He said we can use delayed broadcast and edit (out) whatever insult before we pass it on to the public.

“And that is exactly what we did. Anything they said, once it was insulting we cut it off and, at the end of the day, we pass on only the good aspects of the message that they wanted to pass. So, we continued doing that for the three or four hours that they wanted the programme to be aired.

“I was so happy that the then minister of information, Labaran Maku, stood by me. He didn’t waver because he knew what I had done and he was very, very okay with it. But how many of us have that kind of stamina to withstand that kind of pressure?

Pressures are always coming from everywhere, but if you are very professional, you would know that ‘this one, I should not take it’. Like for us, we were not actually journalists; I just happened to be in NTA and was the most senior officer and I know that the thing was wrong.

“If I were there during the 2015 electioneering period, I wouldn’t have taken it with all their money, and I even heard that there was no money paid for all the insults.”

“It is not every position that you just give to politicians because, in the past, politicians who were board members did a lot of damage to NTA. They just come in and start looking for money. They are least interested in the NTA,” he said.

He also urged incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that someone with expansive knowledge of television broadcasting is appointed chairman of the NTA board from now on.

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