By Sainey M.K. Marenah, Shout-Africa .com Gambia Bureau Chief in Banjul – Ismaila Ceesay Managing Director of Teranga FM, a community radio station located in Sinchu Alagie village in the Kombo North district of the West Coast Region was Wednesday invited to the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) in Banjul, The Point has learned.
Though no reason for Mr. Ceesay’s appearance at the NIA was advanced to this paper, sources close to him said he was asked to suspend the radio station’s daily review of news carried by the local newspapers in the country.
According to our sources, the radio has since suspended its newspaper news review program broadcast in Gambian languages, and now relies on airing only news covered by its own reporters.
Established in 2009, the radio was first ordered to cease operations in January 2011, a move which sources believed was linked to the community radio’s daily review of the news published by the newspapers in Wollof and Mandinka.
However, it was ordered to resume operations, a month later.
Broadcasting on a frequency of 97.5 FM, the radio station has since its establishment generated a lot of attention from the public, most of which relies on Taranga FM radio to get news of the day.
Earlier in April this year, Alagie Cham, Minister of Information and Cmmunication Infrastructure, told deputies at the National Assembly that the radio station was temporarily closed down in mid-January this year due to “some administrative procedures”.
Minister Cham, who was responding to a questio by Hon. Pa Jallow, member for Jarra Central, was asked to explain what led to the closure of the radio station, during the Question and Answer session at the Assembly.
At the time, the Information minister said “the reason for the gap in the radio’s broadcast was to make certain that some administrative procedures are in place.”
“The Management of Taranga FM wasted no time in putting in place those administrative procedures and, as a result, resumed broadcasting on 14th February 2011,” Cham further told deputies.
Meanwhile, the radio station yesterday announced that, due to circumstances beyond its control, it will be making a slight adjustment in the delivery of its news programmes.
Ceesay could not be reached for comments at the time of going to press.