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Nigeria orders shutdown of opposition party-linked private TV, radio2 minutes read

The two broadcast stations are owned by Raymond Dokpesi, a key member of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

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Nigeria shuts down opposition-linked private TV, radio | News Central TV
Raymond Dokpesi, owner of DAAR Communications. (File photo)

Nigeria’s broadcasting authority said Thursday it had shut down a private radio and a television station both owned by a key opposition figure who earlier claimed his media operations were targetted in a crackdown.

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said it suspended the license of the Daar Communications Plc, owners of the African Independent Television (AIT) and RayPower FM radio for breach of the broadcast codes.

The NBC said in a statement it had summoned the management of the stations for two years to address alleged bias in their broadcasts and for failing to meet financial obligations to the regulatory authority.

The statement charged the two had “embarked on use of inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts and media propaganda against the government and the NBC for performing its statutory functions of regulating the broadcast industry in Nigeria.”

NBC said it took the decision Thursday to “suspend the license” of AIT and RayPower FM “for failure to abide by the Commission’s directives and the provisions of the law.

“The shut down order is until further notice,” the statement said.

The two broadcast stations are owned by a business tycoon, Raymond Dokpesi who is also a key member of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Dokpesi earlier Thursday addressed a news conference to accuse the NBC of intimidating his media empire on the instruction of the Nigerian presidency.

“We are on a road previously travelled. A media and press clampdown is in the offing,” Dokpesi said hours before the suspension of his licence.

Dokpesi established RayPower FM as the pioneer private Radio in 1994 and AIT in 1998.

Reporters Without Borders places Nigeria in 119th place out of 180 on its World Press Freedom Index.

It says journalists are often threatened, subjected to physical violence, or denied access to information by government officials, police, and sometimes the public itself.

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East Africa News

Nine airlifted from Mogadishu to Turkey following terrorist attack

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Nine people injured in a car bomb attack that occurred on Saturday in Afgoye, thirty kilometres north west of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, were airlifted to Turkey on Tuesday morning for treatment. The airlift is the second medical evacuation of bomb attack victims in less than four weeks. Twenty one people were injured in the Afgoye attack that targeted Turkish construction workers who were having lunch with local police.

Turkey’s ambassador to Somalia, Mehmet Yilmaz confirmed that the nine to receive treatment in Turkey are three Turkish nationals and six Somalis. 

While speaking at a news conference in Mogadishu, he reiterated that his country would continue to support Somalia despite a spate of recent attacks by Islamist group… al-Shabaab. 

“This will not stop us from helping Somalia. We shall continue to work. Somalia and Turkey have good relations,” Yilmaz said.

A separate group of Turkish engineers constructing a road were among those hurt in a bombing that killed at least ninety people in December 2019.

On this matter, Somali Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, met with the Turkish ambassador to Somalia and other officials in Mogadishu. He assured of his government’s commitment to providing adequate security for Turkish nationals.

“We thank our Turkish brothers for their support. The Somali government will take any action necessary to ensure the security of Turkish nationals,” Hassan Ali Khaire said.

Turkey has been a major donor to the Horn of Africa nation since 2011. It is involved in various initiatives such as military training, infrastructure development of roads, hospitals and amenities as well as other donor efforts.

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Politics

Nigeria outlines new visa, immigration policy for foreigners

The immigration boss said ECOWAS citizens require no visa into Nigeria but must enter with valid travel documents.

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Nigeria's Immigration Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede.

The Nigeria Immigration Service on Tuesday released a new policy that outlines the entry requirements for Non-Nigerians travelling to the West African nation.

Immigration Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede gave the requirements in a statement by the Service Public Relations Officer, Sunday James on Tuesday.

The immigration boss said ECOWAS citizens and countries with visa abolition agreement with Nigeria require no visa for entry into Nigeria.

“They however must enter with valid travel documents and through approved entry point, a report by the News Agency of Nigeria said.

Babandede said “holders of African Union Passport desiring to enter Nigeria on short visits can obtain visa upon arrival” at any of the country’s five International Airports.

“Holders of valid Diplomatic/Official Passport from countries with which Nigeria has Visa waiver agreement can enter Nigeria without Visa through approved entry point.

The immigration service said visas such as for Residence, Temporary Work Permit, and Dependants are to be “obtained at our Embassies/Consular Missions or Visa Processing Centers, before commencing such journey to Nigeria.”

“All other passengers who are not holders of passport of member countries of ECOWAS and Africa Union applying for Business purpose will apply for Visa on Arrival vide portal.immigration.gov.ng and must obtain approval online, before commencement of journey to Nigeria.”

“All categories of applicants that require Visa for entry into Nigeria are expected to pay online, since cash payment is not allowed,” he said.

Babandede also said that the new entry policy regime had been communicated to all airlines operating in Nigeria and international airports for compliance.

He said that airlines would not allow passengers to board without complying with the conditions stated.

The immigration authorities called on genuine investors and other categories of travelers to Nigeria to take advantage of the innovation as it “improves migration, transparency and security in our operations,” Babandede said.

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Central Africa Politics

Cameroon forces rescue 24 abducted school children held hostage by separatists

The children were kidnapped early Tuesday from their school in the southwestern city of Kumba and “taken to the forest where the camp of the separatists is located,” an official said.

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Cameroonian soldiers at battlefield./Wikiwand

Soldiers have rescued 24 abducted Cameroonian school children held hostage by armed separatists in the country’s restive English-speaking region of Meme division, an official has said.

The children were kidnapped early Tuesday from their school in the southwestern city of Kumba and “taken to the forest where the camp of the separatists is located,” Ntou Ndong Chamberlain, senior officer of Meme division, told reporters.

Chamberlain said the two armed separatists were shot dead during the rescue operation and that weapons and ammunitions were found.

The children, aged 5-10, have been reunited with their families, a Xinhua news agency report said.

Abductions have become rampant in the northwest and southwest Anglophone regions of Cameroon as general elections draw near.

Armed separatists have been clashing with government forces since 2017 in an attempt to establish an independent nation in the two regions.

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