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Zamfara gov’t shuts broadcast stations over rally coverage

Zamfara State Government has ordered the shutting down of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Gusau and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN)’s Pride FM…

Zamfara State Government has ordered the shutting down of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Gusau and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN)’s Pride FM for allegedly violating government order and journalism practice.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, in Gusau on Saturday.

The Commissioner said other media organisations sanctioned were Gamji TV, Gamji FM and Al umma TV which are privately operated.

Dosara said the media houses were shut down because they “violated their professional ethics”.

He added that they attended a rally organised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state which was earlier banned by the state government for security reasons.

He said: “The state government has suspended all political activities in the state due to security challenges but the PDP ignored the order and held a rally in Gusau, the state capital where one person was killed and 18 others were injured.”

Dosara said the media organisations were at the event to cover the occasion in spite of the fact they were aware of the ban on political rallies by the state government.

He said the closure of the stations was approved by the State Security Council and is with an immediate effect.

According to him, the Commissioner of Police has been directed to arrest and prosecute personnel of the affected stations caught violating the order.

Meanwhile, the owner of one of the affected stations told our correspondent that the Forum of Private Media Owners would hold a meeting and would make their position known afterwards.

“I’m not the chairman of the Forum, I don’t want to preempt our chairman. So after the meeting, our position will be made known,” he said.

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