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Rivers Govt. To Demolish AIT/Ray Power Office, Issues 48-Hour Notice

…“NUJ will not be happy to see a Media House in Rivers State been demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully and amicably,” 

The Rivers State Government has issued a letter of demolition of Infrasctucture to the transmission station of the African Independent Television/Ray Power in Ozuoba, on the outskirts of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Following a 48-hour notice on  Tuesday March 21, to Daar Communications, owners of the AIT and Ray Power to remove its property on the right of way of its proposed housing project in the GRA Phase 5 area of Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dennis-Emenike, issued the notice in a letter which simply carries, ‘To whom it may concern’ and obtained by our correspondent.

The letter which was dated March 20, 2023, is 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.”

The  land on which the AIT/RayPower Radio station built its transmission station has been a subject of dispute between the state government and Daar Communications Plc. Therefore, the Nigerian Union of Journalists has called on the state government to suspends its plan to demolish the transmission station of Daar Communications Plc.

Chairman of the State Council of NUJ, Stanley Job and Secretary, Ike Wigodo made the appeal in a joint statement following the ultimatum. The NUJ pleaded the state government to open a negotiation channel with the media organization for a peaceful resolution of the dispute.

The statement partly reads, “The NUJ appeal is sequel to a 48-hour quit notice the Rivers State Government, through the Ministry of Works, served Daar Communications Plc, owners of AIT and Raypower Radio Station, in the early hours of Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

The quit notice signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dinnis Emenike, requested the Media House to remove its structure for a proposed housing project within 48 hours.

“The land on which AIT and Raypower Radio Station built its transmission station has been a subject of dispute between the Rivers State Government and Daar Communication Plc. The Council urged the state government to open a negotiation channel with the media organisation for a peaceful resolution.

“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.”

Continuing, the council said, “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.

“NUJ will not be happy to see a Media House in Rivers State been demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully and amicably,” the statement read in part.

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