(JollofNews) – Another popular Gambian radio station , Paradise FM has been ordered to shut down by the authorities as part of a crackdown following last month’s disputed presidential election.
According to sources, some men believed to be officials of the feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA),who reports directly to the president, and are responsible for protecting state security, collecting intelligence, and conducting covert investigations, walked intothe radio station around 2300 hrs and order them to “to stop broadcasting with immediate effect”,
The men did not give any reasons but told staff to seek answers from the Ministry of Information and Communication.
The radio station had hosted a political programme featuring the spokesman of the opposition coalition, Halifa Sallah and the organising secretary of President Yahya Jammeh’s party, Yankuba Colley.
The closure of the station come less than a week after three other popular private radio stations,Taranga FM, Hilltop Radio and Afri Radio were forced to stop broadcasting , also by the NIA.
The media crackdown has been condemned by President-elect Adama Barrow who issued a media statement urging Mr Jammeh to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Tension is high in the Gambia and security officers are put on stand-by after President Jammeh unilaterally annulled last month’s election results which was won by Opposition Candidate Adama Barrow and called for fresh elections.
Mr Jammeh who has been in power since July 1994, has been accused of stifling the press during his presidency. Press rights group Reporters Without Borders ranked Gambia 145 out of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index, with the country having created “a climate of terror around anything remotely to do with journalism.”