PRESS RELEASE

Sunday October 16, 2022

CLOSURE OF FEDERAL AND PRIVATE MEDIA HOUSES BY THE GOVERNOR OF ZAMFARA STATE- EXECUTIVE POWER CARRIED TOO FAR.

The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria(BON) has received with TOTAL shock and disbelief the order made by the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle to shutdown Federal and private broadcast media houses in Zamfara State.

We hasten to state that the Governor not only lacks the constitutional power to issue such an order, the order is also an arbitrary and a naked abuse and misuse of executive power.

The power to licence or withdraw the licence of a broadcast media is vested in the National Broadcasting Commission established by an Act of Parliament.  Even at that, the Constitution and the Act did not give any room for arbitrariness in the exercise of the power to impose sanctions talk less of closure of broadcast media on any agency or any level of government including the Federal Government, without following the laid down procedure and seeking an order from a court of competent jurisdiction. This position of the law has been upheld by the law courts at various times.

The closure of the Federal and private broadcast media by Governor is equally an affront against the Electoral Act 2022 which should be curbed immediately before it destroys our nascent democracy.

Governor Matawale will only be hiding under the needle by claiming security reasons for the illegal shutdown order when the whole world is aware that his primary reason was purely political.

BON is calling on the Inspector General of Police to provide adequate security for all the media houses in Zamfara State to protect the stations from attacks by state sponsored political thugs.

We equally call on INEC to make the Governor face the consequences of his total disregard for the new Electoral Act while the Federal Government should deploy police to ensure the reopening of the affected stations without any further delay.

The Federal Government should call the Governor to order as he has acted beyond the powers conferred on him under the constitution.

Signed:

  1. YEMISI BAMGBOSE

Executive Secretary

Broadcasting Organisations