The Nigerian government’s claim that it successfully jammed signals from Radio Biafra, a controversial, underground channel spewing propaganda, is false as the station has continued with its programmes several hours after the government announcement.
PREMIUM TIMES correspondents in the south-east of Nigeria, and other listeners there, have confirmed that station remained on the airwaves as of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, long after the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Shade Yemi-Esan, told journalists on Tuesday the broadcast had been blocked.
The station also denounced the claim by government, tweeting that its terrestrial transmission remained alive as well as its online radio.
“Radio Biafra is live in Biafra land: NBC woe to you and your lies: NBC lied to their master and gullib…,” the radio tweeted.
The permanent secretary, Mrs. Yemi-Esan, had said the National Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, had jammed the radio’s frequency, describing it as illegal in the first place.
She spoke at the presidential villa shortly after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of her ministry.
“Right now the signals from Radio Biafra have been jammed successfully by the NBC,” Ms. Yemi-Esan said.
“The commission is also working with security agencies to get those that are behind that radio because it is an illegal radio, it is not licensed by anybody to be on the airwaves in Nigeria,” she said.
But Radio Biafra responded on Twitter: “How can you Jam satellite and internet radio?”.
Radio Biafra, received in the south-east of the country, is a new network that has become controversial for propagating the ideology of the former secessionist Republic of Biafra. Operators of the station are also accused of instigating hate and violence.
The permanent secretary said the government might re-open information centres abroad to launder the image of the country.
On the response of the president in respect of reopening information centres abroad, she said “at different fora, the President has said it, that he wants to improve the image of Nigeria and one of the ways we can do that is by the re-opening of these centres abroad, so he was all for it and he said that we will work together to ensure that we do that”.