Shut-down of Jay FM Jos radio politically-motivated, boss alleges
Plateau govt denies involvement in closure
The Managing Director of Jay FM Jos radio station, Mr. Clinton Garuba, has asserted that the station, which was shut down on Friday, March 1, 2019, was politically-motivated.
He, however, appealed to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to reopen the station.
Garuba, during a press conference yesterday at the premises of the station in Jos, said that the broadcasting station was shut down to prevent it from the covering gubernatorial election.
According to him, there were two separate issues dated February 16 and February 18, 2019 where the former was only a warning for airing a News Sound Bite by Bishop David Abioye who charged his followers on how to vote while the latter was N100,000 fine for airing a News Commentary titled “Does Buhari Deserve a Second Term?” which was authored by a listener.
He said the Jos Zonal Officer of NBC only said that there was an order that the station should shut down operations.
“To all discerning minds, this suggests that the directive may have been handed down from above, which, in itself, is an anomaly. The normal and usual process would have been for the zonal office to monitor, sanction and report to the headquarters. To us, this is a typical case of the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau,” Garuba stressed.
He stated that on February 28 at about 3.00 p.m., operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) stormed the premises of Jay FM Jos demanding that the Station Manager, Mangna Wamyil, should go with them to their office but as he was not around, the DSS insisted to go with a senior member of staff who was Ojingwa Oji, Head of Engineering, but later released by 5.00 p.m., same day.
Garuba, who stated that though the engagement with the DSS was civil, courteous and respectful, wondered what connection exists between the DSS and NBC as it relates to the shutting down of the station.
According to him: “We know that there are forces within the government of Plateau State who are not comfortable with Jay FM.
“We know that these forces used very powerful security managers of the Federal Government to forcefully accomplish this shut-down of Jay FM Jos.”
Meanwhile, the Plateau State government has said that the allegation is not only false but also very frivolous, adding that the NBC has the statutory power to monitor the activities of all broadcast media organisations in the country and sanction those who violate the law accordingly.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Simon Lalong on Media and Publicity, Mr. Mark Longyen, said: “The state government did not in any way involve itself in the action taken against the controversial radio station.”
“Every listener to JFM’s programmes in the aftermath of the recent elections would agree with me that the station had gone ‘gaga’ and the sanction was long overdue.”
No comments yet