• You‘re creating bad image for incoming govt – Yakassai
  • Learn from your past as Military dictator- Balarabe

buharoTwo frontline northern
leaders and politicians,
Tanko Yakasai and former
governor of old Kaduna
State, Balarabe Musa have
lambasted President-elect,
Gen. Mohammed Buhari over
his failed bid to ban African
Independent Television, AIT
and Ray Power crew from
covering his activities.
Both elder statesmen
who spoke to the Nigerian
Pilot Sunday separately in
Kaduna weekend, warned the
president-elect of any attempt
to gag the media, noting that
such action was capable of
bringing a bad image on his
administration, especially
against the backdrop of his
past negative antecedent as a
military dictator.
Chairman, Northern Elders
Council, NEC, Alhaji Tanko
Yakasai, told this paper that the
recent ban by the Presidentelect,
General Muhammadu
Buhari stopping the Africa
Independent Television, AIT,
from covering its activities
is a very bad signal which
implies that all will not be
rosy with the future of the
Speaking on the
development in an interview
in Kaduna, Alhaji Yakasai,
said the banning was a very
bad signal on the future,
creating the apprehension
that all is not going to be rosy.
According to him, “that
attempt was really a bad
beginning had it not been
nipped in the bud because it
was a very bad signal on the
future. And it has happened
anyway and it has created
apprehension that the future
is not going to be all rosy,
particularly in view of the
historical antecedents of
the president-elect, General
Muhammadu Buhari himself,
his relationship with the
media, lawyers and labour
who were all parts of his
history. His history cannot be
complete without them.
He also added that the
action was capable of creating
a bad image about the
incoming government.
“He is creating a bad
image for the incoming
administration having
regards to the past antecedent
of the president-elect when
he was the military head of
“His relation with the
media, his relation with the
labour and his relation with
the bar. All these are part of
his history. They cannot be
removed from his history, so
that single action, though it
has been handled has really
aroused concern in the nation
and the world over that
things are not going to be rosy
as we thought it would be.
“Now that dent has been
there, it cannot be removed.
It is a bad incident and I hope
we will put it behind us,”
Yakassai said.
He advised the general to
be conscious of overzealous
staffs and aide against
tarnishing the image of the
incoming administration.
“My advice is that the
President-elect should now
ensure that he takes care of
overzealous staff in his office
so that you don’t do anything
to undermine the image of
the incoming administration.
“He should put his eyes
on the overzealous members
of his staff so that such an
unfortunate incident will not
repeat itself again,” Yakasai
Speaking in the same
vein, former Governor of
old Kaduna State, Alhaji
Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa,
said the President-elect
should have learnt from the
past when he was a military
dictator and now as a civilian.
Musa recalled that in
the past, the relationship
between General Buhari and
the media was not good and
so he expects that he should
have learnt from the past.
According to him, “Buhari
must have his reasons for
banning AIT from covering
his activities. Am not telling
you that that has happened
because I know AIT has
helped the opposition in
Nigeria at great cost. At one
time, because of the help they
were giving to the opposition
in Nigeria, Obasanjo in
particular threatened to
close them down. Therefore,
it is unfortunate that this
happened. But I don’t know
his reasons.
“Well we know his record
of relationship with the
media wasn’t good. But our
people expect that he has
learnt a lesson and this is
a new situation. He was a
Military dictator and now his
is a civilian,” Balarabe said.
It would be recalled that
Buhari had recently through
his aides instructed that
AIT be barred from further
covering his activities
pending resolution of some
But in a swift action, his
All Progressives Congress,
APC, reversed the order.
The party said the incoming
government would not
discriminate against
any media organisation,
irrespective of its role during
the electioneering leading to
the just-concluded polls.