Okudzeto, Sam George, Joyce Bawa, others join freedom of expression demo

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Tue, 21 May 2019 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Some top members of the NDC on Tuesday 21 May, 2019 showed up in their numbers at the Elwak stadium to join the fight against government’s decision to shut down some radio stations over default licenses or authorization renewal.

NDC Members of Parliament including Sam George, Samuel Okudzeto, A.BA Fuseini, Kofi Adams, Joyce Bawa kojo Bonsu and other leaders of the national executives of the NDC were present to join the protests.

Some party members who spoke to Ghanaweb on the sidelines of the protests indicated that they participated to express their displeasure about government’s recent stance on some issues regarding media freedom in the country.

Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu Constituency, A.B.A Fuseini on his part condemned the closure of the radio stations, attributing the move to political tactics and gimmicks by some members of the ruling NPP. The ideal he insisted, would have been to give prior information and follow due diligence.

He further hinted that the issue is being processed for parliament and that the National Communication Authority will soon be summoned to explain their action and to suggest the way forward in resolving the issue of shutdowns.

“Moving forward we have to make sure the radio stations comply and they can only comply when they are in existence”, he said.

Member of Parliament for Ningro-Prampram, Sam George on his part noted that the march was aimed at preventing the situation where the tyranny of government overshadows the will of the people.

He added that the closure of the radio station by the NCA is a form of tyranny which must be condemned.

“We will not allow the tyranny of government to overcome the will of the people. This is the first of many actions we will be taking as a minority in conjunction with civil society to ensure we have media freedom”

“As far as we are concerned this action as all well-meaning Ghanaians know is Capricious, Malicious and high handed” he added

Meanwhile Member of Parliament has stated that the NDC and Ghanaians will continue to fight against the ‘oppressors rule’ being spearheaded by the Akufo-Addo-led government.

“This is a country that has always fought dictators and tyrants. We will ensure that the people’s fundamental human rights are respected and we are going to continue to join such movements and continue to resist oppressors rule. We are going to ensure that our fundamental human rights of free expression is respected” he stated

Hundreds of people were present at the Elwak sports Stadium to protest what they describe as moves by the government to attack press freedom.

The protest, dubbed: “March for Free Expression” and organised by the Free Media Vanguard, aimed to safeguard the fundamental human rights of free expression, and the work of journalists, which the organizers say have come under threat in recent times.

The walk which started from the Elwak sports stadium to the NCA office at Airport city saw scores of protesters, clad in red and black attire, wielding placards with inscriptions such as: “Enough is enough”, “Akufo-Addo, you are a threat to free speech”, “stop adding tyranny to hardship”, “leave Adeti alone”, and so forth.

The protest follows the closure of Accra-based Radio XYZ, Radio Gold and several media houses across the country, for failing to renew their operating licenses.

A petition for the suspension of the closure of radio station was presented to the NCA and received by Olivia Okailey Quartey Deputy Director General, Managerial Operations

During the presentation, the Free Media Vanguard described NCA’s actions as “ill contemplated, ill-executed and in fact departed significantly by law.”

They, therefore, called on the NCA as a matter of necessity and in furtherance of the relevant constitutional rights and freedoms afforded to the media, restore the broadcasting rights of Radio XYZ and Radio gold and other radio stations which have been unfairly dealt with.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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