Lagos, Nigeria - The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned the shutdown of a radio station in Nigeria because it was linked to the recent killing of nine polio vaccinators in the northern city of Kano.
A CPJ statement obtained by PANA here said the real reason the regulatory National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) shut down the Wazobia FM station was because of its critical reporting.
'Nigerian authorities closed Wazobia FM because they did not like its critical coverage, and then they cloaked their decision in highly-charged but unsupported allegations of incitement,' CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita said in the statement.
'We call on the National Broadcasting Commission to reverse this censorship order immediately,' he said.
Last week, NBC said it had revoked the license of the private station Wazobia FM in Kano, and the station has been off the air since.
Authorities accused the station of violating a part of the NBC Code that prohibits the use of language 'likely to encourage or incite crime, or lead to disorder.'
The decision stemmed from a 6 Feb. edition of 'Sandar Girma,' a daily Hausa-language talk show in which Wazobia host Yakubu Musa Fagge accused local officials of corruption and coercive tactics in their handling of a polio immunisation campaign.
The killing of the nine vaccinators after the show aired was believed to be linked with the 'inciting' programme.