Artists on the payroll of Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN) and Radio Nigeria Atlantic 104.5 FM in Uruan, Akwa Ibom, have shut down the station.
They shut down the station yesterday in protest against the non-payment of arrears of their salaries.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions: “The artists of Atlantic 104.5 FM want the release of our February 2016 to January 2017 salaries, else there will be no broadcast.”
Others included: “Pay us our 11 months’ salaries, we are very, very hungry,” “We the artists of Atlantic 104.5 FM want our 11 months’ salaries. Else no work, enough is enough,” “We have been patient enough, pay us 11 months salaries now.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the office of the radio station was under lock and key.
Mr. Asuquo Ekpo, the spokesman of the protesters, told NAN that the management had refused to pay them their salaries for inexplicable reasons.
He said the management of the station was not fair to the plight of the artists who had work tirelessly to make the station functional.
“How can we be working for 11 months without paying us salaries; we have waited patiently and that is why we have decided to shut down the station.
“We are calling for the removal of the zonal director of the station, because artists in Port Harcourt have been paid and we don’t know why we have not been paid up till now,” Ekpo said.
He called on patriotic Nigerians and other stakeholders to intervene and ensure that they are paid their entitlements, stressing that their children are hungry and they cannot pay their school fees again.
The management of Atlantic 104.5 FM, artists and industrial attachment staff were seen roaming outside the office premises.
Some workers were seen eating in the cafeteria of the station while others were seen discussing the issue in hushed tones.
Reacting to the development, a senior management staff of the station, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed that the zone owes the artists, assuring that the management was working to ensure that their salaries are paid.
He commended them for the peaceful protest, saying that the management will address their plight.
Owing to the protest, all the heads of department of the station met to resolve the crisis.