News of the dusk to dawn curfew in Bamenda has been received with heavy hearts by members of media houses in the North West Region as many media houses face difficulties presenting their 6 pm news and other programmes. With an early shut down, presenters and producers of programmes cannot be at the radio to perform their duties as a day after the press release; many media houses missed out on their 6 pm news. The burden is now on the shoulders of technicians who have to be there to make sure the radio is running smoothly. This has caused media administrators to improvise ways to redress this problem.
According to Rose Obah Akah, Station Manager of CBS Bamenda, she believes any media house that isn’t feeling the pinch of the consequences of the release from the Governor’s office should be joking with the goals of effective communication. “jThe release is not a wise decision at this time especially as it has affected everyone including media houses. CBS radio Bamenda received it with mixed feelings because it has negatively affected our content and broadcast time and worst of all the staff and management. We have killed some prominent live programs and rescheduled some of our programs including the news time. This is sad indeed because it will take time for our listeners to adjust to this new schedule. Our listeners have already started calling and expressing their disappointment and dismay at such decisions that may cause them not to follow up on favorite programs”.
The management of Ndefcam Radio on their part, decided to record most of its programmes to be aired at the stipulated time while others will be rescheduled to appropriate times. Technicians who live far from the radio will have to close work much earlier to enable them get home early and safe while those around the radio will have to spend the night at the station.
Many have called on the Governor to have a rethink and acknowledge that this is a clampdown on the freedom of media personalities and thus not also allowing them to play their role as mirror and watchdogs of the Society.
The latest communiqué came after a driver was killed on Saturday during an attack on transport buses as gunmen made a trench on the Akum road. The gunmen asked all the passengers to lay in the mud face-down and brought a bulldozer which they used to cut the road into two.
The press release also states that all off-licenses, snack bars and nightclubs shall remain closed. Motor parks shall remain closed and night travel suspended till further notice. This is in an attempt to bring peace and stability to the region, ahead of the forthcoming presidential election.
By Maikem Emmanuela