NOVEMBER 30, 2005
Posted January 4, 2006
Glory FM, Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation
Security forces under the authority of the federal government stormed and sealed off Glory FM, a radio station owned by the Bayelsa state government in its capital, Yenagoa. Broadcasts were immediately cut, according to news reports and the Lagos-based press freedom group Media Rights Agenda (MRA).
The station’s closure was part of the federal government’s attempts to oust Bayelsa Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and isolate him from his supporters, MRA reported. Alamieyeseigha embarrassed Nigerian authorities when he jumped bail in London, where he was due to stand trial for alleged money laundering, and returned in disguise to his home district. Along with shutting down the radio station, the federal government sent as many as 1,000 troops to Yenagoa, while police raided the state government’s headquarters, according to Reuters.
According to MRA and other sources, Glory FM had been broadcasting reports in favor of the state governor, while the federal-controlled Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) carried reports critical of the governor. According to Reuters, the NTA incorrectly reported that state legislators had voted to impeach Alamieyeseigha, while Glory FM correctly reported that the initiative fell one vote short. Police arrested Alamieyeseigha on December 9.
MRA reported that after the closure, “the NTA continues to broadcast undisturbed and although it is now the only broadcast outlet operating in the state, it carries only news and views supportive of the federal government’s position in the dispute.”