Rivers State Government has issued a 48-hour demolition notice on a transmission station belonging to Daar Communications in Ozuoba, Port Harcourt.
Daar Communications Plc are the owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power 106.5Fm in the state.
The state government directed the Media House to remove its property on the right of way of the proposed GRA Phase 5 housing project, Punch newspaper reported.
The notice was contained in a letter dated 20 March and signed by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Ebere Dennis-Emenike.
“Following the imminent commencement of the above project, all structure (s) impacting on the Right-of-way of the project have been earmarked for demolition including your own.
“Consequently, you are by this notice requested to remove such structure (s) within forty-eight (48) hours to allow for speedy progress of work,” Mrs Dennis-Emenike said in the letter.
The Rivers government has been engaged in prolonged land disputes with the Daar Communications and had in September last year threatened to demolish the said property.
Ray Dokpesi, chairman of Daar Communications did not respond to requests for comments on the matter when contacted.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Rivers State in its reaction to the demolition notice urged the state government to engage Daar Communications on a peaceful negotiations to resolve the dispute.
The Union said it would not be happy to see a media house in the state being demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully.
“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.”
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Rivers NUJ chairman, Stanley Job and Secretary, Ike Wigodo made the appeal in a joint statement after the state government issued demolition notice on the media outfit.
“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 the 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,” the union said.
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