Rivers govt demolishes AIT’s mast, transmission house, workers stranded


The Rivers State Government has demolished an analogue mast used by African Independent Television, AIT, in its operations in Port Harcourt.

It was discovered that when the mast was torn down, it fell on the transmission building, from where the media company broadcasts its news and programmes.

As a result of the development, AIT’s terrestrial station in the state as well as the South-South and South-East states has gone off the air.

The state government has been working to reclaim parts of its alleged property occupied by the AIT, an area it had already marked Government Reserved Area, GRA, 5.

The operation started around 8a.m., till 1p.m., as AIT staff were seen lurking around the facility stranded.

Those who had some reports to file for the local and regional bulleting and others, who had programmes to anchor stood around the demolition area helpless.

Unconfirmed source said the government had urged the AIT to relocate their mast and transmitter to their premises, but that nine months after the notice, the media house remained adamant to the order.

It was gathered that the government took the action Sunday and yesterday, following the refusal of the private media organisation to act according to the government’s order.

One of the AIT workers, who preferred anonymity, said the state government had brought a letter in March, asked the media house to relocate its mast and transmitter, but that the organisation had not acted before the government returned to demolish the duo.

The source regretted government action, when ownership of the landed property in dispute between AIT and the Rivers State Government was pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.

At press time, the state government has not released any statement on the development. It was, however, gathered that the demolition was supervised by the state Ministry of Works.