The Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)’s hammer has fallen heavily on popular on-air-personality, Asiwaju Ojo Oluwatanna as he was suspended from airing his popular programme – Idi Abajo for the next one month.
The Idi Abajo crooner is said to have been initially banned for 8 months but after he made frantic appeals the sanction was reduced to a month.
The much-listened to programme comes on air every Tuesday night on Parrot FM. The programme dwells much on historical accounts of communities and famous figures as well as focusing on contemporary chieftaincy and land issues.
The programme has grown over the years to be a controversial one because of the presenter’s bluntness and indepth reportage of sensitive issues.
He has had faceoffs with several people who felt aggrieved but he has proven to be a fearless man by the way he spurns threat and danger with many believing he is supernaturally endowed.
Confirming the NBC sanction Oluwatanna said it was because of a congratulatory message involving a politician he aired during one of his programmes.
According to him, “When the All Progressives Congress, APC, held its local government congress few weeks ago, l didn’t know there were parallel congresses in Surulere local government of Oyo state.
“And so l went on air to congratulate the one l knew who emerged as chairman in the council and who happens to belong to Senator Ayo Adeseun faction and jokingly urged him to come and celebrate his victory at my hotel in Okin-Apa. I never knew there was another victor who emerged in the Hon Segun Odebunmi faction.
”That was my sin l believed. The next thing is that l received a summon from the zonal office of NBC and pronto l was handed suspension.”
Asked to confirm if it were an eight-month suspension as some of his colleagues speculated, he disclosed it was not so, “They have reduced the suspension to one month after much pleading. I won’t lie to you my brother, l begged them.”
Hon Segun Odebunmi representing Surulere/Ogo-Oluwa federal constituency is the chairman of the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values.
Meanwhile critics stressed that Oluwatanna had garnered a lot of adversaries owing to his “brazen attitude and daring approach” while presenting his programme, and that his enemies had been reporting him to the regulatory body.
“People had recorded many of what he aired and so when NBC summoned him these were played to his hearing some of which he was told contravened the broadcasting laws.”
In the meantime he would along with his boys like Kehinde and Aberuagba be off the air in the next one month as far as Idi-Abajo presentation is concerned.
A sabbatical leave you will say.