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Society | Media

Nigeria TV station shut down

afrol News, 17 September - Nigerian security services have shut down a television station amid reports that president Umaru Yar'Adua would resign due to his poor health. The closure followed dismissal of resignation reports by presidency office.

Managers at Channels TV, controller of news Ambrose Okoh, general manager Steve Jugo, station manager Shola Olaiya and Editor Bashir Adigun have all been arrested by State Security Service.

They were arrested on Tuesday night, following broadcast of a report attributed to News Agency National (NAN). However, NAN distanced itself from report saying it was sent from a false e-mail address.

Information Minister John Odey said president was in good health, saying government was angered by reports. "It's an unfounded report published by people who want to distract government from running the country," he said.

The 57-year-old leader, known to have a chronic kidney problem, traveled to Saudi Arabia officially for a Muslim pilgrimage. But senior Nigerian officials and a medical source in Saudi Arabia said he had received treatment during the trip.

President Yar'Adua's health has been a source of constant speculation in Nigerian media and opposition politicians, among others, have voiced concern about whether he is fit enough to govern.

Last month, he left the country for two weeks, telling ministers he was going on a pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca, but went to a hospital in Saudi Arabia for treatment.

A government said a probe has been launched into origins of the report for appropriate sanction.

His health was a source of concern even before he became president over a year ago. He had to be rushed to a hospital in Germany while he was campaigning in March last year, just weeks ahead of presidential elections.

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