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Nigeria appoints Ilelah new NBC Director General

Amidst controversy over the suspension operations of Twitter in Nigeria by the federal government, President Mohammadu Buhari has appointed a new director-general for the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The new NBC Director General, Balarabe Shehu Ilelah replaced Armstrong Idachaba who has been acting as the DG of the commission since the suspension of Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu, for his alleged involvement in a N2.5 billion Digital Switch Over (DSO) scam.

In a statement on Friday, the information minister, Lai Mohammed said  Ilelah’s appointment was for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah, a veteran broadcaster hails from Sokoto State.

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No mention of what role the immediate acting DG of the commission will play in the commission, though he was a director in the NBC before we was elevated to the acting capacity.

The NBC had in the wake of government suspension of Twitter issued a directive to broadcasting stations in the country to deactivate their Twitter handle and stop disseminate or gather news via the platform.

A statement by the United State Department of State on Thursday condemned the directive by the commission, insisting that such violated the rights of Nigerians to freedom of speech.

“The United States is likewise concerned that the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission ordered all television and radio broadcasters to cease using Twitter.

“Unduly restricting the ability of Nigerians to report, gather, and disseminate opinions and information has no place in a democracy.

“Freedom of expression and access to information both online and offline are foundational to prosperous and secure democratic societies,” the US Department of State said in a statement.

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