By Lizzy Okoji
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has demanded an unconditional apology and compensation from the Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Al Makura for the demolition of a radio station, Breeze FM, 99.9, Lafia.
Mr Shuaibu Leman, NUJ National Secretary who made this known on Tuesday in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja called for the immediate relocation of the station by the Nasarawa State Government.
Leman said the Union was also advocating for the payment of compensation for the great loss suffered by the radio station towards this untoward act.
He said that there was no plausible explanation to the act of intimidation by Al Makura which occurred last week allegedly because the structure was not approved by the Nasarawa State Urban Development Board.
The NUJ scribe said that it is instructive to note that the same Governor was represented at the time the radio station was being inaugurated.
He said that the NUJ is worried as the incidence was happening at a time when the Nigerian State needs the support of the media in fighting corruption, criminality and terrorism in the country.
Leman said that it is sad that media was now being attacked by the same Government that is entrusted with the safety and security of all Nigerians.
“We wish to note that in a democracy, Government should be seen to be protecting the interest of all and sundry and not only the interest of those in authority.
“The union cautions that the media remains the pivot of a virile democracy and should be jealously guarded, protected but sanitized appropriately.
“The Media should be allowed to always test the resilience of the free speech and free press clauses by challenging any attempt to restrict their coverage of political activities and the society by arguing passionately that the public has a right to know,’’ Leman said.
“It is in the light of the above that we condemn this unwarranted destruction of the premises of Breeze FM Lafia on the orders of Governor Al Makura,” he said.