GOVERNOR Muhammad Abubakar of Bauchi State has clarified the recent revocation of the certificate of occupancy of Daar Communication, owners of AIT and Raypower Radio and Television stations, Bauchi centre, saying government is not out to shut the station. Speaking at the weekend when he received officials and members of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, at the Government House, Abubakar, who acknowledged that his administration is enjoying a good working relationship with the media, however, observed that there are some media organisations that often derail from ethics of the profession in their reportage. The governor said it was not the aim of his administration to shut down AIT and Raypower, but to ensure that due process is followed, stressing that he has adopted the recommendations of Air Commodore Tijjani Baba Gamawa-led committee on the recovery of government property carted away unjustly during the previous administration. “The land with some equipment were acquired in the second republic during the regime of late Abubakar Tatari Ali, but the immediate past administration decided to allocate the place to AIT and the recovery committee listed the land among government property to be reclaimed which we did, but not after shutting the station. In fact it is a good development to have AIT in our midst,” he added The governor said the management of Daar Communication would meet with state officials to fashion out the best way to use the land in question, saying it should either be sold or rented by the media house. He reiterated his administration’s zero tolerance to corruption, assuring that all property given out by the previous administration without following due process will be recovered. Earlier, State Chairman of the NUJ, Comrade Dahiru Garba Muhammad, said the visit was to formally appeal to the governor to reconsider the government’s position on the issue. Muhammad, however, said the union does not doubt the legality of the state government’s action, but called on the governor to have a re- think with the conviction that it is also in the public’s interest to encourage the development of a responsive, pluralistic and vibrant media.

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  • Auta62

    The muzzling of the Press (AIT) by the Bauchi State Government because of the formers view considered critical of government policies and programs is most unfortunate. As a democratic society where press freedom is allowed by the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria, one had thought that there are decent and civilized ways in handling publications considered inimical to the interest of any government, be it federal, state or local. However, the disposition of the Bauchi State government to revoke the land allocated to AIT on which their media outfit is located is most unfortunate and out of tune with current democratic reality. The action of the state government in revoking the C of O of the land is nothing but naked display of authoritarian and dictatorial tendencies. If the Press is not allowed to criticize policies and programs of government constructively; if the press is not allowed to provide checks and balances on government activities in a democracy, then such democracy may not survive. The action of the Bauchi State government is objectionable and condemnable in all ramifications. Bauchi State government should be civil in their conduct of government affairs, without resorting to intimidating the fourth estate of the realm.