The Zamfara State Government has apologised for shutting down five broadcast stations in the state.
Channels Television had reported how the government ordered the closure of some media houses in Gusau, the state capital, for providing coverage for a political rally organised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The affected media stations are the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Pride FM, Gamji TV, and FM, Al Umma TV.
Matawalle also ordered the suspension of political meetings and activities in the affected communities.
Speaking on the issue, Abdullahi Shinkafi, Chairman of the State Committee on Prosecution of banditry and related offences, apologised to the media during a press conference on Monday.
He said that based on the controversies generated by the government’s decision and the power given to NBC, the government cannot shut down any broadcasting organisations.
According to him, the five media houses are free to operate but they must abide by the Executive order of the governor, pending the vacation of the order.
“Based on the press releases by NBC and NUJ, the power given to them by the constitution, nobody has the power to shut down the media from the operation,” Shinkafi said.
“On behalf of the government, ad and Honorary adviser to the government, I apologise to the media houses they can start operating and they must abide by the government Executive Order 10 signed by the governor, pending the vacation of the order. Once it is vacated, they can cover whoever they want to cover.”
Shinkafi also raised an alarm that Boko Haram terrorists are infiltrating the State, occupying Mutu village in the Mada Community which informed the state government’s decision to shut down Mada and other Towns to tackle the activities of the Terrorists and to restore peace in the troubled communities.
He claimed that his life is in danger as the Terrorists are seeking to eliminate him and this, he said is according to intelligence reports made available to the state government.
Shinkafi, however, called on citizens of the State to come together irrespective of their Political affiliation to fight and flush out the Terrorists in Zamfara State and bring about peace and stability for the people to go about carrying out their lawful businesses without fear of terror.
Abdullahi Shinkafi insisted the Zamfara State Government under the leadership of Governor Bello Matawalle did not contravene the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, stressing that it is the primary responsibility of the Government to protect citizens against terror groups, hence the signing of the executive order 10 shutting down three LGAs, roads, some markets, villages and banning of Political activities.
Shinkafi noted that no democracy can thrive without the role of the media and he appealed to media practitioners to assist the Government in the fight against insecurity bedevilling Zamfara State in particular and Nigeria in general.