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Monday, November 12, 2018

Akeredolu Blacklists Channels, Ait, Core Tv From Covering Ondo Governor’s Office

Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has withdrawn the accreditation granted some television stations to cover the governor’s office.

The affected television stations are Channels TV, AIT and Core TV.

Information Commissioner, Yemi Olowolabi made this known to the affected television stations few days ago

He accused the TV stations of not writing “good stories” to favour the government.

SUNSHINE HERALD gathered from one of the reporters who spoke on condition of anonymity that Olowolabi had always been unhappy with them for not propagating the news and events of the state government like their colleagues.

He thereafter ejected them from the government house press corps and access to the governor’s office.

It will be recalled that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu while speaking with some selected journalists during celebrations to mark his first year in office had said he was not a fan of reeling his achievements in the media.

He said although he is learning how to use the media, he believes it’s better for people who are affected by his achievements to see themselves.

In his reaction, Olowolabi accused journalists from the affected media of not projecting the government in positive light.

He accused the reporters of being ‘lazy’ saying the government is also not too ‘buoyant’ to pay the quarterly coverage fees to their station.

“They are called dedicated service and I started it when I was CPS 14 years ago. I brought the AIT in, I brought the ITV and Channels. We pay them quarterly for news coverage. Now when we resumed, we found out that the previous government was owing them over 300 million. So before commissioners were appointed, the ministry of information had signed an agreement with all of them that it wasn’t this government that owed you, but they negotiated 50% cut, meaning we will pay them 50% of the total sum, and they all agreed.”

“We have been paying that debt since I resumed. But we have not renewed any of these contracts, and I also suggest that we should clear what we owe, rather than accruing another hundreds of millions of debt.

“So we had an understanding with them that we will pay what we owe, but you will continue to use our stories. To some of the stations, we have paid some 10 million, others 20 million like that, we are paying them on instalmental basis. We have paid twice, it remains just one tranche to clear the debt. Now, based on this understanding, TVC uses our story, Galaxy does, ITV does, but Channels has refused to air anything from Ondo state except it’s negative,unless we pay all the debt. AIT has also refused to use any of our stories.

“So my understanding is that upon the fact that we give them allowances every month, we support them, we create a conducive environment for them to operate, yet they don’t use stories. In fact, they don’t even cover events. No private broadcast station covers any story from me, except it is negative news.

“I just told them to go and find something else to do, rather than sit in governor’s office morning till night doing nothing. So nobody has expelled them. If we are expelling them, we will write to their stations formally. But for them to sit dowm doing nothing, I think it’s most unfair to themselves, that’s my position,” Olowolabi explained.

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