President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has denied barring African Independent Television (AIT) from covering his activities and said he only became aware of the matter after the public uproar it generated. AIT had been barred from covering his activities on Monday, but the APC overturned the decision the following day. Buhari says he was neither consulted nor informed about the AIT barring. And in a statement released on Wednesday evening by Garba Shehu, the head of the media and publicity directorate of the APC presidential campaign, Buhari was quoted as saying:
“The time of change has come and we must avoid making the same mistakes that the outgoing government made.”
Shehu’s statement said Buhari has instructed all his staff, including the personnel attached directly to him, “to steer clear of all dealings with the media, and leave all media affairs to his official media team”. Adding that his media team should be left to deal with their media colleagues as they best knew how.
“I would like everyone to henceforth stay within his/her defined area of responsibility.”
On Monday, Shehu had said AIT has been asked to step aside based on security and family concerns. In addition, that 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. You can quote me that I said that we have asked them to step aside and that we are resolving the the issues of ethics and standards with them.”