BY AYODELE ABERE in Ado Ekiti*
The Nigeria union of journalists NUJ Ekiti and Oyo states councils have decried the demolition of Fresh FM, a radio station belonging to a renowned gospel singer Yinka Ayefele in Ibadan, Oyo state, describing it as yet another assault to journalists and media
A statement by the chairman of the union Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela and the Secretary Comrade Kayode Babatuyi described such development as the height of injustice and lack of respect for the sanctity of the fourth estate of the realm.
It’s is quite unfortunate that the media and its personnel have come under series of attacks in recent time, which is against press freedom.
According to the statement, the demolition of the radio station will not only demoralize both employer and employees of the corporation, but also shut out members of the public the access to information and education which the station provides.
We are also not happy that such demolition took place while the matter was in the court, hence the state government should ensure that the station takes off as soon as possible in any location the principal might deemed fit.
We however sympathize with the principal of the station Mr Yinka Ayefele and our colleagues working in the station and urged them to be strong as this hard time will pass.
Nigeria Union of Journalists is irked by the seemingly deliberate effort of government and its agents to ceaselessly attack and assault some sections of the Nigerian media, prevent such media houses and their journalists from carrying out their legitimate duties, under the guise of enforcing the law.
We are particularly alarmed by the reckless action of the Government of Oyo State which on Sunday demolished the premises of FRESH FM in Ibadan. For whatever reason, the destruction of the media house by agents of Governor Abiola Ajimobi was insensitive and punitive and an attempt to stipfle the media.
The NUJ condemns such act of impunity and reiterates its position of working closely with stake holders to promote a safer environment for media organisions and journalists to operate. We shall strive to combat relentlessly the present unacceptable level of impunity plaguing the country and deterring aspiring young Nigerians from embracing the profession and those already in the profession from leaving out of frustration.
The media will not be intimidated by such callousness of some politicians but will rather remain resolute in promoting a more positive narrative on the country by encouraging, without departing from a rigorous professional approach, development journalism and democratic values.
The NUJ demands for apology and compensation for the wanton destruction of the radio station from the Oyo State Government.