Rivers State Government issues eviction notice to Daar Communications
The Rivers State Government has issued a notice to Daar Communications, the owners of African Independent Television/Ray Power, to vacate the land on which their Port Harcourt transmission station is located, or face demolition within 48 hours. The decision has raised concerns that it is politically motivated, due to an ongoing feud between Governor Nyesom Wike and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the owner of Daar Communications. However, Governor Wike maintains that AIT/Ray Power does not have title to the expansive premises it occupies in the Rivers State capital city, and that the eviction order has no political undertones.
The Permanent Secretary of the Rivers Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dennis-Emenike, issued the latest eviction notice on March 20, 2023, titled “Proposed GRA Phase 5 Ozuoba, Port Harcourt Demolition Notice” and addressed to “To Whom It May Concern.”
The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has intervened and urged the state government to rescind the decision to demolish the transmission station of Daar Communications. In a statement signed by Stanley Job, Chairman of the NUJ Rivers State Council, and Ike Wigodo, Secretary, the NUJ appealed to the state government to engage in dialogue with the media organization for a peaceful resolution of the dispute. The NUJ believes that proper negotiation and a peaceful resolution of the land dispute will serve the government and people of Rivers State better, and that the media house should not be demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully and amicably.
The NUJ stated, “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. Whatever the merit of the quit notice, we would not want the world to see the Press in a fight with the Rivers State in view of the long-standing mutual relationship. NUJ will not be happy to see a Media House in Rivers State demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully and amicably.”
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