An ex-aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has flayed the National Broadcasting Commission for the query it issued to Channels Television over comments made by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on the TV’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme on Tuesday.
It was also gathered that the commission is not comfortable with an interview granted to the station on Wednesday by a former Navy Commodore, Kunle Olawunmi, who alleged that current members of the Buhari cabinet are Boko Haram sponsors.
Reacting, Omokri in a Facebook post on Thursday, said Channels TV had interviewed controversial Islamic scholar, Ahmad Gumi on February 22, 2021, wherein the cleric made some divisive and sympathetic statements in support of bandits and kidnappers.
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The ex-presidential aide said the NBC didn’t query Channels TV after the interview which many Nigerians had expected the regulator to do.
Omokri, therefore, faulted NBC’s query of the television station over Ortom’s interview on Tuesday wherein the governor expressed dissatisfaction at the President’s handling of the security situation in the country.
“The National Broadcasting Commission did not punish Channels Television for that Gumi interview.
“Now, the Buhari regime wants to punish Channels Television for their interview with Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, in which he spoke the truth? Where is the justice?” Omokri asked.
The NBC had in May slammed a fine of N5million each on Channels TV and Inspiration FM Lagos for alleged infractions of the broadcasting code.
Channels TV had featured the spokesperson for the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Emma Powerful, on its ‘Politics Today’ programme.
The PUNCH earlier reported that the Nigerian Army had said contrary to Gumi’s statements to bandits recently that Christian soldiers were the ones killing the bandits, the Army does not deploy troops along religious or ethnic lines.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video-clip showing the renowned and respected Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, alleging that non-Muslim soldiers were responsible for the attacks against bandits.
“In the video clip, the Islamic scholar was seen telling the bandits that the soldiers involved in most attacks against them were non-Muslims. He further stated that they should be aware that soldiers are divided into Muslims and non-Muslims.
“While the Nigerian Army would not want to join issues with the respected Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, it is, however, important to restate that the Nigerian Army as national institution, does not deploy its troops along ethnic or religious lines.
“Therefore, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi and other opinion merchants are please enjoined to exercise restraint not to drag the image and reputation of one of the most reliable national institutions to disrepute,” the Army had stated in a statement dated March 8, 2021.
Gumi had been seen hobnobbing with bandits in the forests of Zamfara and Niger States. He had also asked the government to give “Blanket Amnesty” to the bandits whom he claimed were fighting an “ethnic war”.
National Security Adviser to the President, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), had said Gumi has the constitutional right to “talk” or “deal” with anyone in the country including bandits.
The NSA had said, “Sheikh Gumi is doing what he is doing because he believes in what he is doing. He is a Nigerian. Under the constitution, he can talk with anybody, he can deal with anybody. I met with him (Gumi) when I went with the service chiefs to Kaduna. We spoke generally during the meeting and he resolved to help government, we are waiting. That’s all I can say, we are waiting for him.”