…land marked for housing project
The Rivers State government has issued a 48-hour notice for the demolition of the transmission station of the African Independent Television(AIT)/Ray Power in Ozuoba, the outskirts of Port Harcourt.
Rivers State Government directed the notice to Daar Communications, owners of the African Independent Television and Ray Power to remove its property on the right of way of its proposed housing project in the GRA Phase 5 axis of Port Harcourt.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dennis-Emenike, sent out the notice in a letter which simply carries ‘To whom it may concern’. .
The letter was dated March 20th, 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 for a while now.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ), has appealed to the state government to shelve its plan to demolish the transmission station of Daar Communications Plc.
The Chairman of the Rivers State Council of NUJ, Stanley Job, and Secretary, Ike Wigodo, made the appeal in a joint statement following the ultimatum given to the station.
The NUJ urged the state government to open a negotiation channel with the media organisation 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 21st, 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 Counsel 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 being demolished over a land dispute that can be resolved peacefully and amicably,” part of the statement read.