The management of Ado-Ekiti-based radio station, Ayoba 95.1 FM, has denied claims that the station has been shut down by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and that the station was purposely established to replace the state-owned station.
In a related development, another group in the state has blamed the statement on the media office of the state’s former governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, accusing him (Fayose) of illegally converting the license of the state’s AM station to his private radio station.
According to a statement issued on Thursday by the Chairman of Ayoba FM, Barrister Jide Bello, the station is being temporarily shut to enable the management re-tune its equipment for wider reach and to rectify other technical inadequacies as noticed by the management and its technical engineers
It also debunked the statement, which linked the ownership of the station to Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor of the state.
The statement reads: “Ayoba 95.1 FM, Ado Ekiti is temporarily out of service to allow for fine tuning and improved coverage. We have not been sanctioned by anybody and the station’s ownership has nothing to do with Governor Fayemi.
“Documents relating to the ownership of the station are readily available for interested parties at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“Within the last two weeks, our team of engineers have gone round the state to assess our signal strength and quality, hence the need to shut down and retune our system to take care of our shortfall in some parts of our dear state.
“The management of Ayoba FM wishes to inform the public that the choice station will complete the process by weekend and that test transmission will resume immediately,” Bello said.
A group, the Ekiti Democratic Coalition (EDC) had accused Dr. Fayemi of setting up an illegal radio station with a view to using it to replace the state owned Ekiti FM 91.5.
The group alleged that Fayemi deliberately orchestrated the closure of the state radio and television during the recent election to sell his radio to the government at exorbitant cost when he assume office, noting that the plan was to ensure that the stations do not function till early next year.
The group had queried: “How can anyone name a private radio station, Ayoba FM, the same identity of the State Governor’s Lodge? It is like someone calling a private radio State Fountain FM or even Ekiti FM. This is a clear intention to shortchange Ekiti and its people, which must be resisted.”
Countering this claim, another group based in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, Integrity Leadership Organization (ILO) said it strongly suspected that the statement allegedly originated from the media office of the former governor, just like a recent statement, which fraudulently claimed that the new Fayemi administration has collected a hefty sum of N30 billion from the Federal Government.
In a statement signed and issued by its President, Mr. Lekan Oyediran on Thursday, the group accused the former governor of sponsoring subversive and inciting statements against the new administration,even when the erstwhile governor fraudulently converted the license of the AM station, located in Ifaki Ekiti, into his private radio station, People’s FM.
“As for the fact finding committee set up to look into the affairs of the state radio and tv stations, the way the former management ran that place, putting everybody in slavery, personalizing the whole outfit and without a single record of infrastructural development, requires a big enquiry.”
“Most of the workers were compromised and it was a show of shame. Where was this group when all the inanities were ongoing? What did they do? The group should just redirect it’s efforts to come up with a proposal for an effective, independent running of the state radio, to be backed by an act of parliament. Political statements like this one won’t go far,” the opposing group stated.