Daily Trust (Abuja)

22 January 2013

Nigeria/South Africa: Why BON Imposes Blackout On Live Coverage of Afcon 2013 - Jijiwa

Photo: Chris Kirchhoff/MCSA
Soccer fans at the 2012 world cup.

The Chairman of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Malam Abubakar Jijiwa, on Monday in Otukpo, Benue, explained why BON is blacking-out the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2013) in South Africa.

He told the 57th Assembly of BON in Otukpo that members could not pay the "outrageous fees demanded by the organisers of the competition".

Jijiwa, who is also the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), said that BON was asked to pay an "outrageous sum of 4.5 million Euros by those holding the broadcast rights of the competition".

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that radio and television stations in Nigeria have not been transmitting the matches live since the beginning of the competition.

Jijiwa said that the fees BON was asked to pay for the broadcast rights of AFCON were beyond the organisation.

The BON chairman declared that that the days of exploitation of the organisation by bodies in charge of AFCON were over.

He said the amount was unacceptable, adding that BON members would no longer accept charges arbitrarily imposed on Nigeria, "so we are calling their bluff.

"The bodies in charge of the broadcast rights of AFCON must come to terms with the fact that the days of exploitation, imposition and sub-jugation are over."

Jijiwa, however, apologised to the viewing public in Nigeria who would not be seeing the matches' live.

"It is high time they understood that we have found our voice and our strength and it is in our unity.

"The era of divide and rule will no longer be a potent weapon against us.

"BON has found strength in collective action and will not allow anyone to try to wreck the unity of purpose which we have come to be reckoned with," he stated further.

NAN

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