KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) – Zamfara state, in northwestern Nigeria, ordered the closure of five media outlets on Sunday after they covered a political rally by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which was held in violation of a state ban on political activities.
The closure order came after Governor Bello Muhammad, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, banned political activities, including gatherings in people’s homes, on October 13 due to the security situation in the condition.
The ban includes campaigning for the February 2023 presidential election, which began across the country last month.
Zamfara state, along with much of northwestern Nigeria, is battling armed groups of ‘bandits’ who have kidnapped thousands for ransom, killed hundreds and made many roads impassable and some farming activities impossible.
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“The Zamfara State Police Commissioner has been ordered to enforce full enforcement and arrest any staff of these media organisations… who carry out any task in breach of the lockdown,” a security council statement said. of the state published on Sunday.
The statement named five outlets, Pride FM Radio Gusau, NTA Gusau, Amji TV Gusau, Gamji TV Gusau, and Alumma TV Gusau. He did not specify why they had been ordered to “close”, but state information commissioner Ibrahim Magaji Dosara told BBC Hausa it was because they were covering PDP activities carried out in violation of the state government order.
Zamfara’s ban on political activity came alongside other measures, including the restriction of movement in some local areas and the closure of several roads.
The statement ordered security officials to “deal mercilessly” with anyone who violated the orders.
(Reporting by Garba Muhammad in Kaduna, written by Libby George, edited by Alexandra Hudson)
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