Dormaa MCE stops “politically motivated” live TV broadcast
Mr Gordon Kwaku Asubonteng, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Dormaa, solicited the assistance of the Police to abruptly end a live television programme, which was being carried by Amansan Television (ATV) at the local Presbyterian Park.
The MCE was quoted as saying the programme was “inciting the people against President John Mahama’s government, making his administration very unpopular”.
The television programme, “Asem Yi Di Ka”, was being aired to offer an opportunity for customers who have been affected by the fraudulent activities of microfinance institutions in the area, an opportunity to air their grievances.
Forty-five minutes, into the programme, the MCE emerged in the company of the Police including Superintendent Washington Foli, Municipal Police Commander and Assistant Superintendent of Police Samuel K. Yeboah and demanded that the ATV crew stop the live transmission of the programme, for the reason that the crew had not sought permission from the Police for the public event.
The MCE’s action angered the spectators who began to protest vehemently against his directive.
Nana Tufour, the Producer of the Programme, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, claimed he had earlier called the MCE to participate in the event but he declined.
“We were expecting the MCE to send his representative but he did not because we had invited some representatives of other political parties”, the producer stated.
When contacted the MCE explained that he ordered the ATV crew to end the programme because they were in breach of the Public Order Act, as the teeming crowd of the disgruntled customers were to gather to air their views.
Additionally, the crew failed to notify the Police about the impending programme and this he said was absolutely illegal according to the 1992 Constitution.
“They are journalists, and for a programme of that kind, they were expected to know better by conducting background checks and investigations first because this is an issue, we are still working on to resolve”, Mr Asubonteng said.
He confirmed that the producer had called him, but he informed the producer that he was in Sunyani and would proceed to the venue, which he did to stop them.
“I didn’t give them the permission to do any programme because I’m not the Police”, he said.
Superintendent Foli, corroborated the assertions of the MCE stating “they were never notified about such an impending programme”.
He said once there were members of the opposition parties involved as panelists, it was proper for the crew to do the right thing to prevent any inconvenience.
The Municipal Police Commander described the television programme as “politically motivated”.