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A group, the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights has flayed the reversal of 868 plots of land belonging to Daar Communications Plc by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The group warned that joining politics with economic matters would have dire consequences for the state, saying Rivers economy was already crashing by the exit of some firms out of the state.
Daar Communications Plc, operators of African Independent Television and Ray Power FM located along NTA Road in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state, is owned by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
Recall that the State House of Assembly had during plenary reverend the company’s 868 plots of land, saying Daar Communications failed to provide the land allocation documents from the Rivers State Government.
The action followed a report presented by the House Committee on Public Complaints and Petitions after four host communities petitioned the company
But speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday, Chancellor of the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, Omenazu Jackson, faulted the action of the state legislature.
Jackson explained that after careful investigations on the land issues, the body discovered that the land was lawfully ceded to Daar Communication in 2001, adding that there was a valid agreement between the station and the state government.
He warned that the current economic situation in the state was unfriendly as several companies had left the state, saying forcing the station with over 48 people in its employ would further threaten the state’s economy.
He said, “First, the economic indicators in the state are not friendly. All the companies in Trans Amadi (Port Harcourt) have all vanished. Also, the National Bureau of Statistics has indicated that Rivers State has the highest number of unemployment, and the little we have, we are bullying them, trying to force them to leave the state.
“From our investigations, Daar Communication is employing 48 Rivers people and if care is not taken and they leave Rivers State, these number of persons have lost their jobs. So, where do we go from there?
“We feel that it is high time we called on Rivers State to deploy Alternative Dispute Resolution on the issue concerning Daar Communication.
“We are not comfortable with the manner in which they (Rivers) are going about it because information as of 2021 shows that Rivers Government sent a demand notice to Daar Communication to pay deed fees and at the end, the station paid over N86.2m.”