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If state institutions apply the laws underpinning their operations, Ghana would wake up from the destructive torpor in which she has been entrapped for the past many years.
We must be brusque in our descriptions of the sorry state of the country’s situation powered by the near non-functioning state institutions. Any attempt at applying a so-called human face when the laws are breached and letting go off the hook persons who should be sanctioned would constitute another blow to our already wobbling institutions.
The ‘Ghana Must Work Again’ mantra would be meaningless unless it is backed by state institutions performing their roles without favour and unnecessary interference by top personalities in the political establishment.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) whose long slumber cost the country her age-old treasured values and nearly pushed her to the precipice through the irresponsible conduct on the airwaves appears to have found the whip and already cracking it. Thanks to a new political dispensation in place made possible by the people’s overwhelming demand at the polls that enough is enough.
We have endured wanton indecency and, if you like, silliness on the airwaves for far too long because the so-called regulation needed to maintain decency and keep the country away from danger- the kind which torched Rwanda, existed only in the statute books establishing the NCA. The regulations could not be applied because the nonsense inured to the interest of the political project of selfish leaders at the helm in the country.
The repercussions of the deliberate apathy on the part of the NCA are household knowledge and need no recall. The inappropriate remarks used on the airwaves could have been managed had the unviable radio stations who existed only because the then government wanted them to, their commercial viability not a factor, been sanctioned long before now by the NCA. After all, fees and other charges besides raising revenue from radio stations weed off unviable yet parlous players on the airwaves.
Radio stations which could not pay the necessary fees as per the laws establishing them had the guts to, in spite of their shortcomings, engage in treasonable activities. The paymasters of the unviable radio stations did not deem it obligatory to pay out of the all-pervading impunity cutting across the political establishment.
Those who have yearned for state institutions to work and for the rule of law to be allowed to stand tall without interference from any quarters should be elated at the turn of events. Radio stations which are not viable yet stay afloat and raise the political temperature should leave the scene for others who can put up responsible conduct to take their places.
We disagree with the President of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA) that the sanctions slapped on the defaulting radio stations are harsh and demand a scaling-down of sorts.
An opportunity has dawned on the country for the crap on the airwaves to be regulated. Freedom of expression when exercised without responsibility is detrimental to our national interest and security.
They should be weeded off radio stations which do meet the standards of financial commitment and discipline. No withdrawal, no mitigation, the law must take its course.
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