Saturday, 18 May 2013
Group Warns Gov. Ajimobi Against Yanking Down Splash FM Radio Mast In Oyo State
Following the threat by Governor Abiola Ajimobi to pull down the broadcasting mast of Splash FM 105.5, claiming the radio station has become the voice of the opposition in Oyo State, The Global Alternative Agenda has appealed to the public and the media to stop the governor from executing his anti-media policy.
In a statement signed by its President, Oludare Ogunlana, The Global Alternative Agenda warned that an attack on the media is an assault to collective freedom, and deserves condemnation from the all citizens.
“If we fail to stop Ajimobi from pushing us to the dark ages, the consequences of the governor’s action would be disastrous to the future of Oyo State,” the statement said.
Mr. Ogunlana, a former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), recalled that Nigeria’s experience during the military era shows that a vicious government can do anything, including arrest, detention and assassination of journalists and activists to suppress the yearnings and aspirations of the people, the very direction he accused the Ajimobi government is headed.
He noted that Splash FM, also known as the “station of integrity,” is an Ibadan based electronic broadcasting station which has been at the fore-front of the struggle of entrenching and deepening Nigerian democracy through its numerous enlightenment programs.
“The station has consistently serves as a viable platform of expression for public officials and ordinary citizens of Oyo state. It is a station that gives voice to the voiceless against corruption and poor governance.
“It is obvious that the radio outlet might havestep on toes of many corrupt politicians and the so call pretenders who masquerade as progressive but the enemy of the masses,” the statement said.
It however recalled that this is not the first time Splash FM has been threatened by an Oyo State government, noting that former Gov. Alao Akala did everything to close down the radio station during it reign as the occupier of the Agodi Government house.
One such example, he said, was in the 2011 gubernatorial election, when a petition from the office of former Gov. Akala prompted the suspension of the radio station’s favorite news review program popularly known as “tifun tedo.”
Gov. Akala of the People Democratic Party accused the station of been pro-opposition, particularly the Action Congress of Nigeria of which Sen. Abiola Ajimobi was ironically the candidate, Mr. Ogunlana said.
“It is ridiculous, pathetic and fundamentally unsound [that] Gov. Ajimobi could toll the same line of the people of yesterday; the enemies of democracy and freedom of speech in our society,” he said.
He lamented that like Nigeria itself, Oyo State under Gov. Ajimobi, is engulfed in a paralyzing crisis of inefficiency, warning that if insufficient attention is not paid to it, is capable of collapsing the vital sector of human and state development.
In that regard, he noted that the administration Gov. Ajimobi cannot point to any achievement in the last 18-months apart from the executive and legislatives frivolous spending on international and local travels.
“Instead of the government to address the inherent danger, the regime embarked on superstitious remedy, ambiguous policy statements and incoherent actions which are capable of further consolidating the perennial crisis,” he said, warning that the people will vehemently resist all attempts to gag the media and stop people from expressing popular opinions.