STUDY IN CHINA

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Nigeria “arrests Radio Biafra operators, seizes transmission equipment”

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The National Broadcasting Commission [NBC] on Friday said it has arrested operators of Radio Biafra, blocked the station from Nigeria’s airwaves and seized its transmission equipment in many part of Nigeria’s South-East zone.

NBC’s Director General, Emeka Mba, made this known Friday in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. Mba said his commission has effectively neutralised the illegal broadcast from the pirate radio station he said had shattered the peace of South-East Nigeria with unsavoury messages.

“Working with security operatives, the commission has also tracked down, neutralized and confiscated transmitter equipment from several locations in the region,” he said.

“Some suspects involved in the illicit broadcasts have also been arrested and taken to Abuja for questioning and prosecution.

“The commission has also worked with other agencies to remove the transmissions of the illegal station from the satellite, and this has put paid to the divisive and disruptive transmissions.”

He said the commission appreciated the concerns expressed by Nigerians over the seditious activities of the illegal radio station and urged the people of the region to disregard the messages purveyed by it.

Radio Biafra was floated by some Nigerians in the South-East of the country, who appear nostalgic of the defunct Biafra Republic, which ceased to exist at the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970.

While its backers say the radio caters for the needs of people from the region, the network is also known for propagating falsehood, dangerous propaganda and ideology of the former secessionist Republic.

This newspaper had on July 10 written an editorial drawing attention to the disturbing signals from the radio station and called for urgent steps to curtail its excesses.

Four days later, the government said it had successfully jammed its signals.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Shade Yemi-Esan, made this known Tuesday while briefing  journalists at the presidential villa after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of her ministry.

She claimed the NBC had successfully blocked the signals of the radio station.

However, on July 15, PREMIUM TIMES correspondents in the South-East of Nigeria, and other listeners confirmed that station remained on the airwaves as of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, long after Ms. Yemi-Esan, told journalists it had been blocked.

The station also denounced the claim by government, tweeting that its terrestrial transmission remained alive as well as its online radio.

“Radio Biafra is live in Biafra land: NBC woe to you and your lies: NBC lied to their master and gullib…,” the radio tweeted.

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