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Buhari Appoints Ilelah as New NBC DG

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Balarabe Shehu Ilelah as the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, made the announcement in a statement on Friday.

The appointment of Ilelah, a veteran broadcaster, is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah takes over from the Acting DG, Armstrong Idachaba, whose stint saw the sanction of media houses at different times.

Under Idachaba, the NBC slammed a fine of N5million on Nigeria Info 99.3 FM Lagos in August 2020.

The station had interviewed a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia, who said bandits told him that a Northern Governor is the commander of Boko Haram.

In October 2020, Idachaba penalized AIT, Arise News and Channels TV for “unprofessional coverage” of EndSARS protests. They were fined N3million each.

In June 2021, after the Federal Government suspended Twitter operations in Nigeria, Idachaba ordered broadcasting stations to stop tweeting. The order sparked outrage.

The citizens and the international community have accused Nigerian authorities of repression of free speech and media freedom.

As Ilelah prepares to assume office, his handling of the broadcast industry, government’s perceived hostility on social media, plans to regulate the use, Twitter ban, among others, will be under observation by many Nigerians.

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