“WE CONDEMN THE CLOSURE OF RADIO STATIONS”

By Madiba Singhateh
The Government of the Gambia on Thursday, 5 January, 2017 closed two radio nations, in the country namely, Taranga FM and Hilltop radio stations respectively.
This reporter went out and about to find out how the closure of the two radio stations affects the lives of the ordinary people in the country.
This is the third time the Gambia government is ordering the closure of Taranga FM whilst for Hilltop, this is the first time they have been asked to close down.
Speaking to Saikou Njie, a carpenter said they are tired of the closure of radio stations in the country. He said this is not the time to close any radio station.
According to Njie, these radio stations are informing them and do not see the need for them to be closed down. “Closing them does no good to the current situation they are,” he said.
Njie stressed the need for freedom of speech to prevail in the Gambia, noting that they are tired of the harassment and intimation of media houses in the Gambia
“We really condemn the closure of the radio stations,” he said
Aja Mai Darboe, an elderly woman who was found at her shop in Westfield told this reporter that she listens to these radio stations.
She said they want to tell the government that these radio stations are informing them and they should let them operate.
She said nowadays radio stations are giving credible information to the people, because not everybody can read the papers.
“The radio stations are doing well, we don’t like this attitude of closing down radio stations in this country,” she said.
For Malang saine, a security officer questioned the reason why they are stopping radio stations from operating.
He said the media is the fourth estate of government and have all the right to inform the citizens of the country,
“Without the media there will be no information so the media has to be free.
When people are informed, they can make choices, so the people have to be informed at all cost,” he emphasised.
Saine also questioned why the radio stations are constantly asked to stop informing the citizenry.
“We want information and without information we can’t live,” he said
He called on the government to stop halting the internet as it is not part of a civilized society. “The internet is even slow because they don’t want them to use their face book and what’s app and whatever app they want to use,” he said.
Fatou Jobe, a student called on the Government to reopen the radio stations.
She said the radios have to inform the people, “Let them please open the radio stations because the closures are not supported by law”.
By the time of going to t press, these radio stations were yet to re- open.