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General News Sun, 12 May 2019

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Mammoth demonstration to occur if NCA does not reopen Radio Gold, XYZ – Ablakwa

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Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has hinted of plans to rally NDC parliamentarians and party supporters to hit the streets to protest the closure of Pro NDC radio stations; Radio Gold and Radio XYZ by the National Communications Authority.

Speaking at the vigil held by the party Friday May 10, Mr. Ablakwa noted that the party would stop at nothing till the message of justice and tolerance is drummed into the ears of President Akufo-Addo and his appointees.

“I am very excited to hear that the conveners of this forum have already sent a letter to the

Ghana police that if by next week, if Radio Gold and Radio XYZ are not opened, there’s going to be a mammoth demonstration in Accra”, he said.

Adding, “Members of Parliament, we shall rally and rally all well-meaning Ghanaians and we shall join you in the streets. There will be no silence, there will be no quiet, there will be no tranquility, no peace until the oppressor is told clearly that Ghanaians will not accept this and will not be oppressors”.

The NDC MP also expressed displeasure about the seeming ‘non-tolerant’ attitude of the ruling government. Citing instances under previous administrations where some media houses were relatively ‘harder’ on the then ruling government, Mr. Ablakwa noted that those governments were open-minded and though were affected by the actions of some of these media houses, never clamped down and shut down their operations.

He sees no reason therefore why same can’t be seen under the Akufo-Addo-led government. According to him, it speaks very badly for a country which considers itself a democratic one.

“President Akufo-Addo must understand that under all his predecessors, there were more even more critical media, and yet they were allowed to operate. There were times when you will get calls from party supporters, people who say what is all of this chaos, can’t you do something and we tell them that in chapter 12 of the 1992 constitution, it is clear, the freedom and independence of the media is guaranteed and that we must not do anything to jeopardise that".



"Why is President Akufo-Addo and his government so intolerant? As we speak, journalists like Edward Adeti and Manasseh Awuni, they had to send him out of the country, this is a national disgrace”.

“Can you imagine if this happened under President Mahama, that a journalist had to run away for his life, and as for the institution I belong to, the least said about parliament, the better”, he said.

Background

Last Thursday, officials from the National Communication Authority (NCA) stormed the premises of the Lartebiokorshie-based Radio Gold with armed security personnel and ordered its immediate closure.

The shutdown is the latest move by the regulator to clamp down on radio stations operating without valid authorizations.



The action, according to the Authority, was an enforcement of the decision of the Electronic Communications Tribunal which includes closing down radio stations operating without valid authorisations.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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