Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ebonyi state council, on Tuesday visited Radio Nigeria 101.5 Unity FM, Abakaliki, to sympathize with the management and staff of the radio station over the fire incident that gutted the production studio of the station.

Chairman of the Union, Comrade Tony Nwizi, led other members of the Union to their office situated at the heart of Amike Aba.

Nwizi whilst addressing the people, thanked God that no life was lost, stressing that the incident happened at a time people needed to be informed about the happenings in the country following the coronavirus pandemic.

He called Federal and state governments to assist in putting the place back to live as the station has proved to be a formidable force in information dissemination in Ebonyi.

His words: “we are here to sympathize with you on the fire incident that gutted your station yesterday. We saw it and we felt so bad at this critical period especially this period of coronavirus pandemic that people are at home and only rely on the information given to them from the media to know what is happening around the world that this kind of thing is happening to Unity Fm, Radio Nigeria Abakaliki.

“We really sympathize with you and we have come to show solidarity as one of us because you are part and parcel of NUJ.

“As we thank God that no life was lost, we call on the government; both the federal and state governments to come to your assistance because Radio Nigeria is a very formidable tool in information dissemination for Ebonyi state in particular. We believe that his Excellency our Governor who is media friendly will come to your assistance as a matter of urgency because you are also reporting for Ebonyi state.

“We are not ignorant of the fact that the federal government pay less attention to Departments and Agencies of government of the federation especially in the media outfit where they should pay better attention. It is just like the proverbial hen that when it gives birth to its chicken, she abandons them to fend for themselves but in this case, the chicken is even better because while the chickens fend for themselves and can take care of themselves, this scenario is a situation where the chickens go out, fend for themselves and still bring back food for the mother hen.

“So, I want the federal government to look into this matter and pay urgent attention to the media industries for the best interest of Nigerians. We are very sorry and we sympathize with you and we believe that very soon that you will bounce back to life. I want to call everybody to put hands on deck to ensure that you return back to services”.

On his part, the General Manager of Radio Nigeria 101.5 Unity FM Abakaliki, Ogbuefi Rex Eze, said he was told that there was a bang shortly after the Engineers changed from public power to Generator which resulted to the inferno.
He stated that the fire did not affect the transmitter, the live studio and his office.

Comrade Nwizi and other members of the council at FRSC

He also appealed to government and good spirited individuals to come to their aid.

“We want to thank you for this quick response to our predicament yesterday. I also want to thank you for this show of support and solidarity in this period of difficulties for the station. As you pointed out, our services is very critical in information dissemination in the state and it is just only unfortunate that we had this experience.

“Our preliminary investigation shows that it resulted from power spark in the production studio and that is why the production studio is heavily affected. We have lost everything in the production studio, we were not able to save even a single pin from there and because of the connection between the production studio and the live studio and the Transmitter, we cannot come on air for our services until some aspect of those wirings are put to use again. So, Unity FM presently is off air. And like you made appeal, we are also joining you to appeal to the state government and other interested in the state; those who have been enjoying our services to come to our aid.

“The federal government cannot be left alone because of the heavy weights of a burden it carries now, we know they will react but we are appealing that if we get reaction and assistance from the state government or from wealthy individuals in the state to help put the station back on live, we will highly appreciate that.

“And we also rely on you because you are professional body to assist us reach out to the state government, reach out to wealthy individuals in the state and corporate organizations that can offer us assistance in this very trial period. We pray that God will see us through on this problem and by his Grace, we will be able to come back much stronger than we were”.

It was gathered that the urgent intervention of fire fighters in the state and the Monday evening heavy downpour during the disaster stopped the fire from burning down the station completely.

According a staff of the station Mr. Godwin Oguta who witnessed the incident, he was in the production studio when he noticed smoke in the area.

While another staff, Kelechi Ogoamaka, who was in the live studio at the time, stated that he narrowly escaped death as the passage leading to the live studio had been taken over by fire when he was rescued.

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