African Independent Television/Ray Power’s owners, Daar Communications, have been given 48 hours to remove the property where their Port Harcourt transmission facility is located or face having it demolished by the RIVERS State Government.
The ongoing political conflict between Governor Nyesom Wike and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, proprietor of Daar Communications, is thought to be the cause of the recent event.
The governor, however, has insisted that AIT/Ray Power lacks legal possession of the sizable space it presently occupies in the capital city of Rivers state and that the eviction order is not motivated by politics.
The latest eviction notice was issued 20 March 2023 by the Permanent Secretary, Rivers Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dennis-Emenike, “To Whom It May Concern” and titled “Proposed GRA Phase 5 Ozuoba, Port Harcourt Demolition Notice”.
It reads, “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.
On intervention, the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) has urged the state government to rescind the decision to demolition the transmission station of Daar Communications.
NUJ Rivers State Council, in a statement signed by Stanley Job, Chairman and Ike Wigodo, Secretary, appealed to the state government embrace dialogue with the media organization for mutual resolution of the dispute.
NUJ statement reads, “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 proper negotiation and peaceful resolution of the land dispute will serve the Government and people of Rivers better. 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”