The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has condemned in uncertain terms the attack on the Radio Ada (93.3 FM), a community radio station in the Greater Accra region of Ghana.
The party in a statement signed by its Greater Accra Regional Spokesperson, Jerry Johnson, demanded an immediate investigation and prosecution of perpetrators.
Last week, a group of armed men numbering about 12 on January 13, 2022, stormed the premises of the community radio station, assaulted two of its journalists, and vandalised some equipment.
A journalist at Radio Ada who is also the External Communications Officer of the media house, Julius Odoi, said the hoodlums invaded the station at around 11:45 am (GMT) after a drinking spree at a nearby drinking bar.
They demanded to see the Manager and when told by the security guards that he was not available, the men forcibly entered the building, broke the studio door and caused mayhem.
According to Odoi, the thugs ordered Gabriel Korley Adjaotor, who was presenting a music programme, to stop his presentation.
The incident angered the MP for the area, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah, who described the assault as an affront to free speech.
Reacting to the same incident, the NDC said, “we wish to passionately advise the government to, as a matter of urgency, commission an independent investigation into the matter and possibly bring the perpetrators of such a heinous crime to book.”
Below is the statement;
TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES
GREATER ACCRA NDC CONDEMNS ATTACK ON RADIO ADA.
The NDC has noted with concern the savagery attack on Radio Ada on Thursday the 13th January 2022 while operating on air. The Regional Secretariat of the Party, especially the Regional Communication Bureau takes serious exception to the disgusting incident of vandalism in the studios of the said Media House, its presenters and the visitors at the station.
It is taking a notorious dimension under this government to have Media Houses suffer one abuse or the other for being critical of the government. This indeed cannot be acceptable in any civilized democratic society, and Ghana cannot be an exception. In our view as the largest opposition Party in Ghana, it is an irony to have such barbarism being exhibited under a government that touts the credentials of democracy, of which media freedom is a critical component.
The event at Radio Ada cannot be separated from other preceding incidents in which President Akufo Addo’s Pastor, Rev. Owusu Bempah with men believed to be National Security Operatives viciously and violently attacked the offices of Radio XYZ and Power FM without any locus. We cannot gloss over the harassment of one of Ghana’s seasoned journalists, Manasseh Azure Awuni, who was hounded out of this country for being critical of the NPP government.
Again, it is on record that, on the 1st of January, 2021 a Citi FM journalist, Umaru Sanda Amadu was embarrassed in public by a police patrol team under the guise of searching for weapons in his car. The arrest and molestation of two other Citi FM Journalists, Caleb Kudah and Zoe Abu-Baidoo on the 11th May 2021 by the National Security Operatives for reporting a story exposing a possible case of financial loss to the state cannot be lost on us.
Owing to these inhuman treatment to suppress media freedom by State institutions, the government of the NPP has a huge responsibility to act swiftly to deflate possible accusations in the act of intimidation exhibited at Radio Ada on the said date.
To succeed in doing that, we wish to passionately advise the government to, as a matter of urgency, commission an independent investigation into the matter and possibly bring the perpetrators of such a heinous crime to book.
We finally wish to express our solidarity, and join hands with Radio Ada and many other media Houses that have come under similar intimidation in the struggle to push further the frontiers of media freedom and establish a formidable democracy in Ghana. Thank you.
(NDC Regional Communication Officer-Greater Accra)