The Coalition of Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) strongly condemns the recent shutdown of the Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM in Port Harcourt, South-South Nigeria. This action by the state government is a grave infringement on the fundamental principles of free speech, press freedom and the right to freedom of expression, enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
On the 3rd of September 2023, the management of DAAR communications reported that telecommunications engineers contracted by the state government who were accompanied by armed security operatives, stormed their Port Harcourt office. These contractors disconnected the wave guard from the antenna on the mast while riggers were seen dismantling the mast. Without notice, bulldozers were also deployed by the Rivers State government to demolish the Transmitter Complex at the DAAR Communications PLC Broadcast Centre.
The continuous suppression of media outlets in Nigeria threatens to tear the democratic fabric of Nigeria. We, therefore, call on the Rivers State government to ensure that any regulatory action against this media organization is conducted transparently, fairly, and in accordance with the rule of law, to safeguard and protect the rights of journalists and media workers by allowing them to carry out their duties without fear of intimidation or harassment.
We must uphold Nigeria’s commitment to international human rights standards, including the right to freedom of expression and information, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The CWPPF is a group of media and civil society organisations committed to upholding good governance and democracy by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, and freedom of express press freedom.
Daily Trust Newspaper
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ)
Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)
African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Civic Media Lab
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
International Press Centre (IPC)
International Press Institute (IPI)
Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
HEDA Resources Centre