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Al-Makura demolishes private radio station

Security operatives and officials of the Nasarawa State Urban Development Board (NUDB) yesterday demolished a private radio station in the city, ‘Breeze FM’.  Daily Trust…

Security operatives and officials of the Nasarawa State Urban Development Board (NUDB) yesterday demolished a private radio station in the city, ‘Breeze FM’. 

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that police shot sporadically at the premises of the station to disperse crowd who attempted to resist the demolition. Our correspondent reports that hundreds of sympathizers arrived the radio station as earlier as 6am, but no one was injured in the incident.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the exercise, owner of station, Nawani Aboki, said that the reason for the demolition was political and that it was aimed at gagging the Press. 

Aboki said, “Due process was not followed. You can see that the wall is down now. It was marked yesterday and was demolished this morning. Like we said, he had a different reason for it.  Whatever reason he gives officially is not the real one. This demolition was carried out because I don’t belong to the same political party as the governor. He is afraid that the station might not support his political ambition. Part of the reasons is that the station aired a report on the ongoing Labour strike in the state.”

Aboki added, “we have the right to air the Labour strike news.  We even begged the government to come and present it’s part but they declined. I want to assure him that what he thought he killed will remain, will come back and grow.

“Let him continue to do what he likes but his time is also coming to an end. We wish him well but we will meet in court. We must remain calm in this situation. Let’s not take laws into our hands; let us ensure that we follow due process and we all will meet in court.”

But Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ahmed Tukur, said that radio station was demolished for violating building regulations and that the station was one among the five structures demolished yesterday.

 He said shops at the police A division and a house belonging to the elder brother of the governor were also demolished.

Tukur added that the station was not targeted for anything other than issues that have to do with building plan. He maintained that the structure was approved as a residential area and that the station’s mast was hazardous to people in the area.

 “If tomorrow the station acquires an appropriate site, government will approve it immediately. The governor has no ulterior motive against the station. About three different independent radio stations in the state reported the Labour strike and they were not affected by this action,” he said.

Efforts to gets the Nasarawa State Ubarn Development Board  (NUDB) to react to the development proved abortive as our correspondent could not reach the chairman of the board, just as his subordinates declined to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, the state branch of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the action. 

Addressing newsmen, the state NUJ chairman, Dogo Shama, described the government as an “open attack on the Press, adding that it was aimed at depriving citizens of  the right to balanced reports. 

Shama said the state council of the NUJ will take action against what he called government’s attempt to gag the Press. He added that the chapter would liaise with the national body of the NUJ for further action.

 “If there was any problem with the station or its location, government should have resolved the matter in a matured manner,” he said.

 

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