In a surprising and controversial move, the Rivers State Government has closed down the operations of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM in Port Harcourt. This shutdown, which unfolded on Sunday, has sparked discussions and concerns within the media industry and beyond.
The Shutdown Operation
The media organization officially announced the closure on Sunday, revealing that the State Government had deployed telecommunications engineers, accompanied by armed security operatives, to enforce the shutdown.
This operation included disconnection of the wave guard from the antenna on the mast and the dismantling of the mast itself. Additionally, bulldozers were employed to demolish the Transmitter Complex at DAAR Communications PLC Broadcast Centre.
Directive From Above
The telecommunications contractor’s officials, involved in the operation, informed the media organization that they were acting on a directive from higher authorities to commence the demolition on Sunday. This directive has raised questions about the motivations and reasons behind the sudden shutdown of these media outlets.
Background to the Shutdown
It’s worth noting that this closure comes after the Rivers State Government issued a 48-hour quit notice to DAAR Communication Plc in March, citing plans for GRA Phase 5 Ozuoba in the area. The decision to follow through with this action has now generated significant controversy and debate.
Reactions and Implications
The shutdown of AIT and Raypower FM in Port Harcourt has sparked a range of reactions. Many within the media industry and the public at large are expressing concern over the freedom of the press and the implications of such a move on media organizations and journalism in the state.
Questions are being raised about the legality and due process of this shutdown, and whether it sets a concerning precedent for media operations in the region. Advocates for press freedom are closely monitoring the situation.
Awaiting Further Information
As of now, there has been no official statement from the Rivers State Government explaining the reasons behind this abrupt closure. The media organization affected is likely to seek clarification and address the issue through appropriate legal channels.
The closure of AIT and Raypower FM operations in Port Harcourt remains a developing story, and further updates on the situation are eagerly awaited as discussions surrounding press freedom and the role of media organizations in society continue to evolve.