Recall that the Rivers State Government recently shut down the operations of AIT and Raypower FM in Port Harcourt.
According to a report on the media organisation’s website, the operations were shut down by telecommunications engineers contracted by the State Government who were accompanied by armed security operatives.
Reacting to this in a statement by the Country Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, dated 5 September 2023, the human rights group condemned the action of Rivers government, asking the authorities to probe the attack on the media.
The statement read, “Amnesty International strongly condemns River state government’s flagrant shutdown of the operations of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM radio in Port Harcourt. This clampdown by Rivers state authorities is an attack on media freedom.
“The brazen dismantling of masts and the use of bulldozers to demolish the Transmitter Complex at the DAAR Communications Broadcast Centre in Port Harcourt bear all the hallmarks of witch hunt — and utter contempt for the independent media.
“The attack on AIT/Raypower is clearly intended to send a chilling message that media and journalists need to self-censor or face dire consequences. The Nigerian authorities must investigate this shocking attack on media freedom by the Rivers state government.”
AIT and Raypower FM Radio were founded by the late Chief Raymond Dokpesi, a media entrepreneur and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Dokpesi died on May 29, 2023, and laid to rest in his residence in Agenebode, Edo State.
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