Wednesday, May 31, 2017 6:04 am
Broadcast equipment worth N61 million were destroyed in the May 20 demolition of Breeze 99.9 FM, Lafia, according to Dr. Nawani Aboki, Executive Director of the private radio station.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the station was pulled down by the Nasarawa Government for allegedly violating land approval laws.
According to Mr Abdulrahman Kwara, information commissioner, the station had to go because its mast constituted a health risk to neighbours, having been cited in a residential area.
Aboki told newsmen on Tuesday in Lafia that the worth of the structure itself had not been quantified.
“The worth of the structure has not been quantified, not to talk of the trauma and shock suffered by the management and staff of the station, but we lost equipment worth N61 million to the bulldozers,” he said.
Aboki expressed surprise at the demolition because management followed due process to obtain license from the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), whose engineers inspected the building and installation process, before test transmission began.
“For over one month that Breeze FM carried out test transmission, there was no objection from any quarters, either from government, individuals or corporate organisation.
“Government cited the fear of radioactive radiation as the reason for its action, but that is the duty of NESREA; it is certainly not a duty for Nasarawa Urban Development Board.”
He insisted that the reason for the demolition of the radio station was “deeper than what is being presented”.
“I see this as a fight against the media and what it stands for; I see this action as a fight against freedom of speech and an attempt to muzzle alternative views,” Aboki said.
He said that the management of the radio station had gone to court to seek redress in response to the popular wish of the Nasarawa people, whose voice the radio station represented.