The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State chapter, on Friday, decried the demolition of the building belonging to the African Independent Television (AIT) as a desperate act by the Federal Government to silence the station and its owner, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
The party, in a signed statement by its state publicity secretary, Chris Osa Nehikhare, said the demolition was done to witch-hunt Dokpesi, founder/chairman, DAAR Communications Ltd.
It also added: “It is now obvious that Chief Dokpesi and DAAR Communications Ltd are targeted for intimidation, harassment and a mafiosi-style shakedown.”
The Edo PDP further alleged that the since the inception of the President Muhammad Buhari administration about four years ago, the Federal Government has continued to use its security agencies and MDAs, especially EFCC, Nigeria Immigration Service, NSA and the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory to harass and intimidate Dokpesi, the founder/chairman of DAAR Communications Ltd.
“Edo PDP condemns in very strong terms the demolition of sections of DAAR Communications building by officials of the FCT and the recent illegal detention of Chief Raymond Dokpesi at the international airport by Nigeria Immigration services (NIS) as he returned from an overseas medical trip.
“The latest infringement on his fundamental human rights and the demolition of the buildings inside the DAAR communications compound is a clear sign of the emergence of a ruthless dictatorship that is averse to the opposition, freedom of association, free speech and freedom of expression.
“Chief Raymond Dokpesi’s DAAR communications has been located in its present address for decades. Even when parties are in arbitration, the government has shown its desperation to hurt Chief Dokpesi and DAAR communications as it went ahead to demolish and not wait for settlement one way or the other.
“These contrived challenges are not unconnected to the independence of DAAR communications as it allows all shades of political opinion and this obviously irritates a budding dictatorship,” the statement read. PDP in Edo State, therefore, called on Nigerians, both at home and abroad, to rise up to resist and condemn what it described as a very ugly development.