CLOSURE OF ZAMFARA MEDIA HOUSES, WORRISOME, UNACCEPTABLE – IPC CALLS FOR CAUTION
For immediate release, October 17, 2022
The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos – Nigeria is worried by the recent closure of some media outlets by the Zamfara state government, describing the action as unacceptable and a violation of the rule of law.
According to the State government the order for closure was because ‘the media outlets affected were found guilty of breaking the laws of journalism’
The affected media outlets are Radio Nigeria, Pride FM Gusau, NTA Gusau, Gamji Television, Vision FM, and Al Umma TV.
According to a statement by Zamfara Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Dosara, the government also directed the Commissioner of Police in the state to arrest all pressmen that attended an event organised by the PDP Governorship candidate, Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare.
The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said that the closure of the media outlets is another attempt to stifle press freedom in the country warning that the government should subject itself to the rule of law and not be the accuser and judge in its case.
“This closure is an attempt by the Zamfara state government to suppress freedom of the press in the state. Directing the Police to further arrest pressmen for attending an event is worrisome and a violation of citizens’ right to be informed,”
Arogundade advised the Zamfara state government to take its case to the media regulatory bodies, vested with the power to sanction or withdraw licenses of media outlets who may be found guilty of breaking the laws of journalism.
“It is not within the powers of the Governor or his agents, under whatever guise, to carry out such duties, as shutting down or sealing off media houses. This should be condemned by all” Mr. Arogundade said.
The IPC, therefore, requests the Federal Government of Nigeria and President Buhari to call Governor Bello Matawalle to order as he has acted beyond his executive powers.
IPC equally calls on the Inspector General of Police to provide the necessary protection to all journalists and media outlets within Zamfara state and its environs as envisaged under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“There should be no disturbances or threats to the electoral processes as all Nigerians look forward to a smooth election in 2023”. Arogundade said.
Program Officer/Safety Desk Officer IPC