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General News Thu, 8 Apr 2021

Kasoa ritual murder: NMC response ‘a robotic one’ – Prof Gyampo

Prof Ransford Gyampo says excuses by the National Media Commission (NMC) that their hands are tied and do not have the legal backing to close down television stations that advertise spiritualism on national TV are “robotic".

Speaking on Starr Chat on Starr FM, the Political Science lecturer and Associate Professor indicated that every aspect of human behaviour cannot be legislated on; if so, then the constitution or the statute books cannot be carried.

Prof Gyampo indicated that there can be customs and conventions that can deal with the influx of spiritualism on TV.

His comments come after the killing of 10-year-old Ishmael Mensah Abdallah by two of his friends in Kasoa in the Central Region.

The two, per the police charge sheet, admitted that they killed the 10-year-old Ishmael by hitting his neck with a club.

This was after luring him into an uncompleted building under the guise of selling him a video game at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region.

This development has incensed a large segment of the Ghanaian society who are calling for an end to the appearance of spiritualists and Mallams on television who promise unreasonable get-rich-quick avenues for the unsuspecting youth.

But Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafo, Chairperson of the National Media Commission (NMC) says, “the authority of the NMC as far as regulating content is very limited”.

He told Joy News that the Constitution of Ghana gives the NMC the powers to promote the highest journalistic standards.

He said, the NMC has broadcasting guidelines for broadcast media houses, but when it attempted to turn some of its guidelines into regulation, Parliament declined and prevented them from pursuing their planned agenda.

“…subject to the provision in the Constitution, the NMC cannot interfere with the workings of any media house or any media person,” Boadu-Ayeboafo said.

He stressed that the NMC “can only act where provision is made for them to act”.

“So, the NMC cannot, for instance, say that somebody has put offensive material on air, the NMC cannot close down that station. It can only appeal to the owners of that station to be decorous in the way that they go about their responsibilities.

"And most of the time, it is the code of ethics of the NMC [....] the Constitution and the NMC law, Act 449. Ask the NMC to apply the provisions of the code of ethics of the professional association that it is dealing with in terms of expecting professionalism from those institutions.”

This excuse, Prof Gyampo said, “is a robotic response coming from somebody who behaves like a robot who has been programmed to follow only what is written in law”.

He added that proactive leaders in situations where there is no law, “involve a convention to deal with it. It is so defeatist and marks of certain robotic incompetence for somebody to come and tell us that because there is no law, let’s sit down and put our hands in between our thighs and watch some of these things happen.

“We do not have to legislate to cover our social or human behaviour; we can involve conventions,” Prof Ransford Gyampo stressed.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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