The management of Daar Communications PLC, owners of African Independent Television and AIT/Raypower Radio, has asked Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike to reconsider his plan to demolish the building that houses the state’s media companies.
The company stated that if the building is demolished, the livelihood of approximately 80% of the workforce, who are from Ozuoba, the host community in Obio-Akpor local government area, will be severely harmed.
Mrs Remi Olu Akerele, Head of Centre at Daar Communications PLC in Port Harcourt, made the announcement in a statement.
As a result, she pleaded that the workers not be fired for the sake of their own and their families’ well-being.
Akerele issued the statement in reaction to the 48 hours demolition notice from the Rivers State Ministry of Works on the media outfit’s building,
She, however, said the notice was pasted on the wall of the company’s building without any further information.
According to her, but for the curiosity of one of the security guards who brought the notice to her office it would have been difficult to know about the demolition notice.
“It was one of the security guards who saw it out curiosity, he brought it to my office. When I saw it, I was surprised that a 48 hours demolition notice was served on us,” said.
She also noted DAAR Communications has instituted a court action against the Rivers State Government to stop the demolition of the building.
She advised the government to wait for the decision of Court on April 6, 2023 when the case will be coming up for hearing.
“I just want to appeal to the Governor to have a rethink if not for owners of Daar Communications,PLC, but for over 80 percent workforce that are sourced from the locality of Ozuoba, host community. We have been in good relationship with them. We have been doing everything humanly possible for the community as company.”
“The matter has been taken to Court. We believe that in an idea situation there shouldn’t have any action because the case is already in Court. Hearing of the case has been fixed for the 6th of April”.
It was also found out some buildings inside the broadcasting complex have been marked for demolition.
Rivers State Government had on Monday served a 48 hours quit notice to the management of DAAR Communications to vacate part of its premises housing AIT television /Raypower FM in Port Harcourt.
The notice came in a letter dated March 20, 2023, signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Ministry of Works, Mrs Ebere Dennis Emenike.
The government stated that the notice became necessary to enable it demolish the structure commence construction of proposed Government Residential Area (GRA) phase 5 in Ozuoba
Part of the letter read: “Following the imminent commencement of the above project, all structure(s) impacting on the right-of-way of the project have been earmarked for demolition including your own.
“Consequently, you are by this notice requested to remove such structure(s) within 48 hours to allow for speedy progress at work please”.
However, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Rivers has appealed to the government to review its decision because of workers on the employment of the media outfit and the cordial relationship between the government and the media.
The appeal by NUJ was contained in a press statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley Secretary, Ike Wigodo.
They urged the state government the management of media outfit to enter into negotiation over the disputed location of the property.
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