Nigerian Journalists Condemn the Closure of a Radio Station and the Arrest of a Journalist

Statement from the International Press Centre (IPC)

The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria has condemned the closure on the morning of Wednesday November 30, 2005 of the Glory FM Radio Station owned by the government of Bayelsa State Southsouth Nigeria as well as the arrest of the station’s General Manager, Mr. Brighten Sorgwe by policemen believed to be acting under instructions from the Federal Government.

Report has it that no fewer than 60 policemen positioned themselves at the entrance of the station without giving any reasons for their actions.

While condemning the action, Coordinator of the International Press Centre (IPC), Mr. Lanre Arogundade, in a statement today, described the action as condemnable.

He stated that “while we recognise the need to combat corruption at all levels, closure of media houses and arrest of journalists who carry out their legitimate duty under the guise of anti-corruption initiatives are unacceptable.”

The statement said that where there are perceived tendentious reports as claimed by the authorities, the federal government ought to have approached relevant institution(s) for appropriate response. “The closure of Glory FM and arrest of Mr. Sorgwe has followed a trend observable in the relationship of this administration where the media has come under attacks by the government or its agencies”

Mr. Arogundade stated further that “such intolerance of opposition voice, dissenting view and contempt for the media by the federal government is inimical to the growth of democracy in Nigeria and is capable of rolling back the gains of the several efforts and sacrifice the Nigerian people and the media have made to ensure that our nation takes its pride of place among the comity of nations.”

The Centre thereby called for immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Sorgwe and the reopening of the radio station.

For further information please contact:

Bukola Adetan

Research & Documentation Officer

International Press Centre

Tel +234-1-8112422, +234-8035751297

E-mail: [email protected] , [email protected]