Bauchi Government denies plans to shut down AIT/Raypower


Bauchi State Government said that it has no intention whatsoever to shut down operations of African International television (AIT) and Ray Power Radio stations in Bauchi owned by Daar Communication Plc.
The State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who gave the indication while receiving Bauchi NUJ officials during a courtesy visit weekend said, “The fact of the matter is that I have not close down AIT, I’m just taking back what belongs to Bauchi State”.
It would be recalled that the immediate past administration in the state allocated the Tirwun radio premises now being operated by Daar Communication, owners of AIT and Ray power which initially belonged to Bauchi State.
The Tirwun premises which houses broadcast equipment with structural buildings and other facilities was shortly after the December 31, 1983 military interregnum that ended the second republic, handed over to Bauchi Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) now Bauchi Radio Corporation (BRC) as its first site of operations.
The Governor said that the revocation of Right of Occupancy of Tirwun station being used by Daar Communication followed the report of Public Assets Recovery Committee set up by the government to recover all public assets inappropriately allocated, swindled or siphoned by past officials in the state.
This, he said, brings to limelight the need for the Government and Daar Communication Plc to sit down and agree on parameters under which AIT and Ray power stations will operate through the Tirwun radio station owned by the state government.
“We will cost our property, giving it a commercial value, if Daar Communication is willing and ready it can buy off so that we could put the money in the coffers of Government of Bauchi state”, the Governor said.
Abubakar said alternatively however that if Daar Communication prefers to pay rent, the commercial rent will be determined so that it will continue paying the rent, be it monthly or annually.
According to him, this is the true situation of the matter at stake which, he observed, critics of the government give different connotations applicably to satisfy their whims and caprices, and compounded by the media for lack of facts cross-checking.
“But of course as always, people prefer to listen to detractors more than the government and people do not even cross-check their facts before going to press. It is a duty incumbent on journalists to cross-check their facts if need be for transparency”.
Governor Mohammed Abubakar appreciated the way Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Bauchi Council took it upon itself to verify the facts, and assured the union that it is not the intention of the state government to close down AIT and Ray power stations in Bauchi.
He contended that having the television and radio stations of the Daar Communication is a welcome development, saying however that two wrongs cannot make a right, as the government in its bid to write the wrong took the revocation decision.
“Two wrongs never make a right, we have promise that we will right all the wrongs and it is in our bid to right the wrongs that this action has been taken. So the issue of AIT and Ray power has not been foreclose”, he positioned.
Abubakar, while expressing that he is a respecter of law and due-process, noted that the media has important role to play in sustaining Nigerian democracy, and drew the attention of journalists against joining partisan politics without necessarily realizing the cross-over.
He also took cognizance of the fact that the press as human has preferences through which they are being persuaded, and which in reporting events inadvertently editorialized which if care is not taken can join the fray or the other.
The Bauchi NUJ Chairman, Dahiru Garba Mohammed had earlier express members concern over the decision by the state government to withdraw the Right of Occupancy on the land housing the Bauchi office of Daar communication and subsequent directive for the office to vacate premises within two weeks in the public interest.
Mohammed appealed to the state government to reconsider the matter with the conviction that it is also in public interest to encourage the development of a responsible, pluralistic and vibrant media as bastion of democracy that Daar communication operates, including its contribution to the 2015 electoral revolution in Bauchi State.


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