The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Hausa service, yesterday clarified on the inability of its listeners to access its services yesterday afternoon.
In a swift response to the incident, the BBC issued a statement saying, “The interruptions of BBC Hausa shortwave transmissions today (yesterday) was as a result of a power outage at one of our transmitters. The power has now been restored and we expect services to be operating normally”.
The inability to access the two important International stations yesterday fuelled the thoughts of possible clamp-down, or jamming, of airwaves by government forces, which have been on the trail of some media houses to stop circulation of newspapers across Nigeria.
The news made headlines, Friday, of how the Nigerian military had descended on media, seizing thousands of newspaper copies, while stopping their vans from circulating the newspapers across Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the oppressive actions have drawn up criticisms from the Nigerian populace, especially in the northern states like Nasarawa, Plateau Adamawa and Bauchi as well as the international press, who have termed it as ‘war on free press’ and an attempt to impede on Nigerians freedom of communication.
Virtually all have blamed the actions on the Federal government, using the military to gag the press while the military has termed it as just a security exercise.
However, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has criticized the actions saying:
“We strongly believe a free press is very critical in the sustenance of democracy and any obstruction to the operations of any critical organ of our democratic process would be resisted as the recent infringements in the circulation of newspapers portend.”
In a statement issued by its president, Abdulwaheed Omar, the union demand that the newspapers affected be compensated while explaining that there won’t be democracy without the press
Abdullwaheed also expressed fear over the tendencies to reawaken military rule by that singular act, he said ““The period of impunity associated with unaccountable military dictatorships should not be reawakened by those elected under democratic platforms as this will mean an open invitation to anarchy.”