Barely a week after the immediate past governor of Rivers State and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, criticised AIT for misrepresentation, the Rivers State Government has demolished the TV station alongside the Raypower FM owned by Daar Communication.
Wike had criticised AIT in the past week for what he said was misrepresentation on the date he announced he would fix Abuja.
Wike, who was speaking few days after he assumed office as FCT Minister had said, “I watched AIT yesterday and I was surprised. That AIT could report that I said that I will fix Abuja in six days’ time.
“All I said to the directors who are responsible! you have six days to let me have what it would take to implement or execute the short term deliveries. That’s what I said.
“I never said Abuja would be fixed in six days’ time.”
But on Sunday when it was raining heavily in Port Harcourt where the stations are located, bulldozers were ordered into the premises to bring down the facility housing the media outfit.
Wike had failed to demolish the stations when he was governor following uproar from the public and media groups which saw his move as “executive recklessness” and an attempt to extend the disagreement between him and the Chairman of the media house.
Crossriverhub.ng had reported the Rivers State government during Wike’s time as governor had served a 48-hour quit notice to the management of DAAR Communications, owners of Raypower and AIT to vacate the premises.
The letter dated March 20, 2023 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Ministry of Works, Ebere Emenike, explained that the government would demolish the structure and commence construction of proposed Government Residential Area (GRA) phase 5 in Ozuoba.
There was also no love lost between Wike and the late Raymond Dokpesi, now late, who was the chairman and founder of the stations concerning their differences in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The current Rivers Governor, Simi Fubara was Wike’s anointed for the PDP ticket in the 2023 governorship election despite having a running battle with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission when he was an accountant in Wike’s government.
Fubura, to show his loyalty to Wike, has hailed his emergence as a minister in the All Progressives Congress administration despite being a PDP member.
This paper could not get confirmation from the state government that a new letter was sent to the station informing it of the demolition, sources in the media house said no new letter was received.
But the operations of the TV and FM Stations were shut down with reports on the media organisation’s website, explaining that the demolition was carried out by telecommunications engineers contracted by the State Government.
The station said the engineers were accompanied by armed security operatives as they stood by watching the engineers disconnecting the wave guard from the antenna on the mast while riggers were seen dismantling the mast.
The TV station ran a live broadcast of the demolition. A statement issued by the station said, ‘Bulldozers were also deployed by the Rivers State Government to demolish the Transmitter Complex at the DAAR Communications PLC Broadcast Centre in Port Harcourt.
“Management of the Company has been taken by surprise following the sudden turn of events as efforts were in top gear to resolve issues with the State Government amicably but the no notice incident is a heavy source of concern.
“Some officials of the telecommunications contractor told AIT that they were working on a directive from above to start demolition on Sunday despite the heavy rains as against a later date.”