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Deputy Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has said Accra-based radio station Joy FM sets no agenda to remove governments from power.
Answering a question posed by Lawra MP Anthony Karbo during his vetting by the Appointments Committee of parliament on Thursday April 6 whether the media house was a regime-changing station, he said: “No it is not.”
In 2013, the then government accused Joy FM of making false statements and trying “to make the government unpopular with a view to promoting regime change”.
The station had published a report that then President John Mahama personally intervened to prevent then Merchant Bank Ghana Limited from retrieving monies owed it, a claim the president, through his spokesperson, vehemently denied.
Joy FM stated it had documents that suggested that lawyer Tony Lithur once wrote to the presidency to intervene in Merchant Bank’s attempt to force Engineers and Planners to pay debts owed it.
Joy FM’s broadcast, which was also published on the station’s website myjoyonline.com, appeared to have ruffled the feathers of the government which asked the English-speaking broadcaster to apologise and retract the ‘false statement’ and subsequently accused the station of trying to promote a regime change.
A statement titled: “Re: Clarification and apology”, issued from the presidency and signed by Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a Deputy Minister of Information, said Joy FM demonstrated “unprofessionalism”.
“This unwholesome practice by Joy FM suggests a deliberate ploy to make government unpopular with a view to promoting a regime change,” the Deputy Minister said in the statement.
“Government has noted a story stuck in an obscure corner on myjoyonline.com in which they purport to render an apology to H.E President John Dramani Mahama over a false publication in which they categorically stated that the ‘Presidency Stopped Merchant Bank from recovering debts from company owned by president’s brother’.
“Government is alarmed that after demonstrating gross unprofessionalism by making such a malicious publication without recourse to the Presidency for clarification and deliberately distorting information available to them in a manner that sought to impugn the integrity of the President, Joy FM and myjoyonline.com would adopt such a half-hearted approach towards correcting the erroneous impression their story created.
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