Rivers NUJ begs Wike to rescind plan to demolish AIT

By Chris Ezeonoh, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has appealed to the Rivers State Government to drop its plan to demolish the transmission station of the African Independent Television (AIT) / Raypower Radio Station at Ozuoba, Rivers State.

The NUJ made the appeal sequel to a 48-hour quit notice the Rivers State Government, through the Ministry of Works, served Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT and Raypower Radio Station, in the early hours of Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

A statement signed by Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo, chairman and secretary respectively of the NUJ said the quit notice signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dinnis Emenike, requested the Media House to remove its structure for a proposed housing project within 48 hours.

It would be recalled that the land on which AIT and Raypower Radio Station built its transmission station has been a subject of dispute between the Rivers State Government and Daar Communication Plc.

The dispute heightened in the heat of the political campaigns when Chief Raymond Dokpesi, chairman of AIT/Raypower pitched tenth with Atiku Abubakar who incidentally was not in the good books of Wike.

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The NUJ while calling on the state government to spare the media house urged it to open a negotiation channel with the media organization for a peaceful resolution.

The Union said that though it appreciated the State Government’s urban renewal policy, it pleaded with the government to temper justice with mercy.

“We appeal to the Rivers State Government to review the quit notice given to Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT and Raypower Radio Station.

“The Press and the Rivers State Government have come a long way as partners in progress. We believe that proper negotiation and peaceful resolution of the land dispute will serve the Government and people of Rivers State better.

“Whatever the merit of the quit notice by the Rivers State Government to Daar Communications Plc, we would not want the world to see the Press in a fight with the Rivers State Government in view of our long-standing mutual relationship.

“NUJ will not be happy to see a Media House in Rivers State being demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully and amicably”, the statement reads in part.

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