The Rivers State Government has on Sunday, taken decisive action by shutting down the operations of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower FM in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Both AIT and Raypower FM are part of DAAR Communications Plc, a media conglomerate based in Abuja. DAAR Communications was owned by the late media mogul and the pioneer of private radio stations, Raymond Dokpesi, who passed away on May 29, 2023.

According to a report on the media organisation’s website, its operations were shut down by telecommunications engineers contracted by the State Government who were accompanied by armed security operatives.

The Rivers State Government also deployed bulldozers to demolish the Transmitter Complex at the DAAR Communications Plc centre in Port Harcourt.

A live broadcast on the TV channel also showed where the alleged contractors were seen disconnecting the wave guard from the antenna on the mast while riggers were seen dismantling the mast.

The statement by the organization read, “Meanwhile, bulldozers were also deployed by the Rivers State Government to demolish the Transmitter Complex at the DAAR Communications PLC Broadcast Centre in Port Harcourt.

“Management of the Company has been taken by surprise following the sudden turn of events as efforts were in top gear to resolve issues with the State Government amicably but the no notice incident is a heavy source of concern.

“Some officials of the telecommunications contractor told AIT that they were working on a directive from above to start demolition on Sunday despite the heavy rains as against a later date.”

The land on which the AIT/RayPower Radio station built its transmission station has been a subject of dispute between the Rivers State government and Daar Communications, Plc.

In March, the Rivers State Government under Governor Nyesom Wike issued a 48-hour demolition notice on the transmission station belonging to Daar Communications in Ozuoba, Port Harcourt.

The state government directed the Media House to remove its property which it claimed was on the right of way of the proposed GRA Phase 5 housing project.

The notice was contained in a letter dated March 20 and signed by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Ebere Dennis-Emenike.

“Following the imminent commencement of the above project, all structure(s) impacting on the Right-of-way of the project have been earmarked for demolition including your own.

“Consequently, you are by this notice requested to remove such structure(s) within forty-eight (48) hours to allow for speedy progress of work,” Mrs Dennis-Emenike said in the letter.

The Rivers government has been engaged in prolonged land disputes with the Daar Communications and had in September 2022 threatened to demolish the said property.