AIT keeps all guessing as it re-emerges on airwaves sparking excitement


Many Nigerians in the Diaspora were in ecstasy following the re-emergence of African Independence television (AIT) on Tuesday afternoon following almost six months of non transmision to Europe.

Sources said the re emergence is aimed at catching more viewers for subscription purposes as the nation approaches election period.

The television station has been a major trusted information source for thousands, if not millions of Africans  across Europe and America and its abrupt seizure from airwaves about six months ago left many homes in bereavement due to the impact it has made in informing about political, financial and social issues about Nigerians in particular and Africans in general.

Before the eventual service withdrawal, the station on several occasions had seized  it’s free service only to reconnect transmission again until sometimes April this year when it all went numb from airwaves without any notice.

The station’s sister branch, the movie channel MOVIESTAR seized broadcasting late last year following an advertisement for subscription bungle when campaign was running upside down with wrong information appearing on the television screens across the world.

Hundreds of potential subscribers were  left in the cold  as they could not get subscribers informations right on the supplied 0844 number which was carrying only ten digit numbers instead of eleven. Many potential subscribers did not know where to turn as they were eager to get across for subscription slots.

In the like manner, AIT , the mother station to MOVIESTAR seized operations last April without notice of subscription and the withdrawal was talk of many circles for several months with expectation that it would re- emerge.

Many had thought that the problem was technical.

However, the re emergence on Tuesday afternoon  has been met with serious reservations as many thought the Organisation might be embarking of a test broadcast, a feeling that had been nullified by a vigorous campaign for subscription.

“I am more than happy and excited  as AIT has made me to feel as if I am actually in Nigeria when it was beaming to Europe, informing of all events back home”, claimed a station enthusiast who said withdrawing the station was like cutting off a part of him.

Nigerian Top Chef, Mr Adeniyi Ogunro said he would be ready to subscribe if subscription fee is pegged at about three pounds per month as against £5. 99p

per month, advertised by the station management on MOVIESTAR last year.

Mr Adeniyi was conveying a very important message to AIT as a brief poll among Nigerians when MOVIESTAR campaigning for subscription showed that the £5 99p subscription fee was a put off, when a full package of over ten stations was being offered for the same price by British based TV stations.

“What the station could have done was to give an offer for £ 3 for the first six months and gradually push up to £4 for about two years before thinking of any increment” said Shola Abdul, another lady addict of AIT.

Moviestar broke the recording as the most generous and popular Movies station with it’s long offer of free view. The long offer had made it the most sought after for subscription but tragically was putting to the public wrong information about subscription.

The wrong telephone number and unavailability of advertised website left many hearts broken as no one was handy to offer advice as the offered telephone number was not linking because it was wrong.

All attempts aimed at getting the head of the international operation of AIT, Mr Mac Imoni Amarere was met with rebuff then, as messages on facebook and several telephone calls by this writer were ignored and met with rebuff.

Both AIT International and MOVIESTAR have made a very big impact in Europe, such that has never been made in the history of information dissemination to Africans in the Diaspora before.

By Fatai Ogunribido,, London