- NUJ intervenes, seeks peaceful resolution
An order has been given for the demolition of AIT/Raypower television and radio station offices in Rivers State.
Governor Nyesom Wike gave the order for the demolition of buildings located in the GRA Phase 5 area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
This is as the governor issued a 48-hour quit notice to owners of the building already earmarked for a project in the state.
The building housing the facilities of the media outfit at the Ozuoba area of Port Harcourt is among the structures that may hinder the progress of the said project by Wike’s administration if not removed.
In that regard, the state government issued an ultimatum in a quit notice signed by Permanent Secretary of the Rivers Ministry of Works Government, Ebere Dennis Emenike.
The notice dated Tuesday, March 21 read: “Following the imminent commencement of GRA Phase 5 project the structures impacting on the Right Of Way have been earmarked for demolition, including your own.
“Consequently, you are by this notice requested to remove structures within 48 hours to allow for speedy progress of work.”
However, the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists is said to have appealed to the government to drop its plan to demolish the structure housing facilities of the AIT/Raypower media outfit.
The appeal is contained in a press statement jointly signed by Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo, the chairman and secretary of the NUJ in the state, respectively.
While acknowledging that the land on which the building housing AIT television and Raypower radio station was built has been a subject of dispute between the Rivers State Government and Daar Communication Plc for some time now, the NUJ appealed to Governor Wike’s government to review its position on the land dispute and drop its plan to demolish and take over the AIT property.
The Council urged the state government to open a negotiation channel with the media organisation for a peaceful resolution.
“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 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 said.