Zamfara Government Shuts Down Media Houses  for Covering Opposition Party Rally

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His Excellency, Bello Matawalle
Zamfara State’s Governor

On October 15, 2022, the Zamfara State Government announced the immediate shutdown of three television stations and two radio stations in the state, namely: the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) owned Pride FM radio, Gamji Television, Gamji FM radio, and Al’umma Television, claiming that the affected media houses attended a rally organised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state despite an Executive Order banning political rallies for security reasons.

The state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, disclosed the shutdown of the media houses in a statement and accusing them of allegedly violating professional ethics.

Mr. Dosara added that the police have been directed to arrest and prosecute personnel of the affected stations caught violating the order.

The commissioner said: “The Zamfara State Security Council has approved and ordered the closure of some media outlets in the state for breaking the laws of journalism.”

“An order has been given to the Zamfara state police commissioner to arrest anyone who ignores this order.”

Mr. Bello Matawalle, the Zamfara State governor, had on earlier announced a total lockdown in Anka, Bukkuyum and Gummi LGAs of the state following the resurgence of banditry in the LGAs.

The closure elicited widespread condemnation from a cross section of individuals and groups and on October 18, 2022, the stations were reopened with apologies from the state government. The government also withdrew the order he gave the commissioner of police to arrest and prosecute personnel seen around the affected media outlets.