By Aja Musu Bah Daffeh & Kebba Jeffang
The Management of Paradise FM radio station has confirmed their re-opening on the 11th January, 2017.
The manager, Ebrima Jaiteh revealed to Foroyaa that they have started transmission without any written or authentic document from the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MoICI) ordering their re-opening.
He said they did so because the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh on 10th January has given directives on the State TV that “public and civil service continue to work proficiently and effectively without fear or favour in an apolitical manner in the service of the nation.” Therefore, they are going by his words as far as amnesty is concerned.
Mr. Haruna Drammeh, the Managing Director told Foroyaa that they wrote to the ministry of information & communication on Wednesday 11th January “to inquire whether we are actually covered by the order. Since they could not reply to our inquiry letter we decided to reopen the radio.”
However, Mr. Drammeh said they will limit themselves to playing music and running advertisements for the day, Wednesday but assured that if they do not reply to provide clarification they will continue today with their normal programmes on the radio.
Mr Jaiteh added that Paradise FM always abides by rules and regulations and they follow the elements of professionalism. He added that they also disseminate fair and balanced information, noting that they do not want to be controlled or owned by anyone.
He said they will never be biased simply because they were ordered by the current government but rather stand firm in maintaining their policy politically by giving / sharing divergent or dissenting views to the public because Gambia now has freedom of expression.
He finally acknowledged their listeners as they were kind and understanding to them during the time of their closure because they really sympathized with them by calling and sending them massages.
Paradis FM were ordered to close by a team of six men who claimed to be police operatives executing orders from the MoICI on the 8th January, 2017 at the hour between 10pm and 11pm. The officers showed no authentic letter ordering their closure.
Management complied with the order. On 9 January, they then received a letter from the MoICI that their licence has been revoked with immediate effect and that it was signed by Saul Njie on behalf of the Permanent Secretary.
Meanwhile, Biran S. Jobe, the Managing Director of Taranga FM radio said the radio is still not authorised to resume operation after the closure almost two weeks ago. He confirmed that they are not reopening. He also confirmed that management is not served with a licence revoking letter.
Basiru Darboe, Managing Director of Hilltop radio, another closed commercial radio also said they haven’t yet opened after they were closed down because they are not ordered to do so.