Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has described as “absolutely queer and strange”, reasons which were posited by Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in her request to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, directed the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to abandon three of its channels.
On the back of that, the veteran journalist argues that the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation does not fall within the domain of the Ministry of Communications per Ghana’s law. It is, therefore, according to him, almost impossible for the sector minister to call such shots.
“If you look at the administrative structure of this country, the Ghana broadcasting corporation does not fall under the supervision of the Ministry of Communication. In fact, there’s no administrative link…,” Mr Pratt explained.
In the words of Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, however, the directive became necessary because the DTT platform was full and needed space for other equally important broadcasts, specifically, a dedicated channel for presidential broadcasts and another for National Security.
The GBC which currently has six channels was asked to consolidate them to three.
Speaking to GhanaWeb on the back of this, Mr Pratt further insisted that the directives and the accompanying justifications issued by the communication minster is not substantive enough.
Mr Pratt said, “…it is absolutely strange that the Minister for Communication is issuing instruction to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. The other thing that I think is worthy of note is the reasons given by the minister. That they need the three of the six channels of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation so that the National Security establishment could have a dedicated channel and that the president could also have a dedicated channel…these are queer reasons, strange reasons, weird…”
In an attempt to clarify his stance on the issue he asserted, “…has there ever been a time where the president could not broadcast to the nation because the existing channels refused to give him access? No…When has national Security communication been impeded in this country? Never…so those reasons really are strange…”
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekufful to, with immediate effect as of July 23, 2020 suspend directives to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to shut down three of its DTT channels.