Minority members join protesters in demonstration over closure of radio stations

Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa

Some minority Members of Parliament (MP) on Tuesday joined hundreds of protesters in a demonstration organized by Free Media Vanguard to register their displeasure over the closure of some radio stations by the National Communications Authority (NCA) in Accra.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, and Mr Sam Nartey
George, MP for Ningo-Prampram were all part of about a 45-minute protest march, which began from the El-Wak Sports Stadium through to the 37 station and ended at the NCA Headquarters at Airport.

Leading members of the opposition group, National Democratic Congress
(NDC) including; Kofi Adams, Sammy Gyamfi were all spotted among the protesters, as well as Bernard Mornah, Chairman of the People’s National Congress (PNC).

The protesters marched in red apparels with placards that had inscriptions such as; “Enough is Enough,” “Enough of the repression and Tyranny,” “Stop the war on truth,” among others.

There was a heavy security presence from the Ghana Police Service throughout the march, which ended peaceful. The protesters chanted patriotic songs amidst accusations on government for influencing the NCA’s decision.

Prince Minkah, Convener of the Free Media Vanguard, presenting a petition to the NCA, called on the Authority to immediately reverse its decision on the closure of the radio stations.

He said the actions of the NCA was “stifling media freedom” and the
Authority was abusing it power.

“You should not be part of those who will go down in history, destroying freedoms of men all in the name of law. So today, we the
Free Media Vanguard are humbly asking your outfit for the purpose of giving practical effect to the constitutional guaranteed right of free expression and a free independent and pluralistic media,” he said.

“Unreservedly restore the broadcasting rights of all radio stations.
We need you to apply the law with wisdom, we need you to look at the implications in as much as you enforce the laws, and we need you to weigh the options.”

Madam Olivia Quartey, Deputy Director-General Managerial Operations at the NCA, received the protesters’ petition and promised to forward it to the appropriate quarters.

Meanwhile, Mr Okudzeto, told the Ghana News Agency said, the minority supported the protest because it was not just a fight for the media but a fight for all individuals.

He said every individual had an inalienable right to freedom of expression under chapter five of Ghana’s constitution, and that was what they were up to protect.

The protest followed the NCA’s decision to revoke the licenses of about six radio stations in accordance with the ruling of Electronic Communications Tribunal. The closure of the radio stations included two major pro-opposition stations, Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, which were the first batch of stations to be closed down.

Source: GNA

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