The Zamfara State government has buckled under the weight of public outcry against its arbitrary shut down of some media houses at the weekend and has ordered their reopening while tendering an apology for its action. In a statement to the media on unfortunate incident, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle represented by the Chairman of
The Zamfara State government has buckled under the weight of public outcry against its arbitrary shut down of some media houses at the weekend and has ordered their reopening while tendering an apology for its action.
In a statement to the media on unfortunate incident, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle represented by the Chairman of the Zamfara State Committee on Prosecution of Banditry and Related Offences, Abdullahi Shinkafi, said the Governor has reversed the order to shut down five broadcast stations in the state and tendered an apology to the media outfits.
Shinkafi explained further that the government was angered by the alleged violation of the “Order 10 which came into effect on October 13, banning all forms of political rallies and meetings in the state due to security concerns, including the suspension of all political activities and the shutdown of Anka, Bukuyum and Gummi local government areas’ roads and other affected towns and villages.”
The statement claimed that the media outfits had violated the order by covering the “illegal political activity of the PDP governorship candidate, Dauda Lawal-Dare, in Gusau”
“The illegal political gathering led to a security breach by some youths of the two political parties. The police had confirmed that one man was shot dead, and 18 others injured during the event,” Shinkafi said.
He said the government has since withdrawn the order given to the police commissioner to arrest and prosecute the media outlets’ personnel and has apologised to the media houses.
“The Zamfara government has withdrawn security forces deployed to the media outlets to allow their staff to resume work and urged them to respect the state laws and support the government in its effort to tackle bandits and kidnappers.”
He admitted that based on the controversies generated by the government’s decision and the power given to NBC, the state government cannot shut down any broadcasting organisations.
According to him, the five media houses are free to operate but they must abide by the Executive order of the governor, pending the vacation of the order.
Shinkafi noted that no democracy can thrive without the role of the media, and he appealed to media practitioners to assist the Government in the fight against insecurity bedevilling Zamfara State in particular and Nigeria in general.
“Based on the press releases by NBC and NUJ, the power given to them by the constitution, nobody has the power to shut down the media from the operation,” Shinkafi said.
“On behalf of the government and Honorary adviser to the government, I apologise to the media houses; they can start operating and they must abide by the government Executive Order 10 signed by the governor, pending the vacation of the order. Once it is vacated, they can cover whoever they want to cover.” Shinkafi said.
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