Executive Secretary for Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, has said the closure of pro-NDC radio stations was underpinned by political decision.
He said the National Communication Authority with the backing of the Communication Ministry rather targeted Radio Gold and XYZ and shut them.
Radio Gold and XYZ under the Network Broadcasting Company and XYZ Broadcasting Limited respectively were shut down on May 9, 2019.
The NCA said they were operating without authorization.
But Mensah Thompson believes the act was politically motivated unlike Minister for Communication-designate, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful sought to put across when she appeared before Parliament’s Appointment Committee Monday afternoon.
The Ablekuma West legislator said she wasn’t responsible for the closure of the media houses but the NCA which had been convinced by their audit that a lot of radio stations were operating without the requisite authorization.
Reacting to the issue on Morning Update on TV XYZ, Thompson who fiercely criticised the Akufo-Addo government for the closure of the radio stations expressed disappointment at the situation.
“I think that if the minister [Urslar] had been a bit more prudent, we wouldn’t have gotten to this level,” he told host Eric Ahianyo.
He stated the minister should have known that the NCA was relenting on its duties by allowing the media companies to operate whilst their licenses had expired.
To him, if the Minister was not discriminating against the pro NDC stations, she would have sanctioned them and allow for the necessary applications to be made to get back their authorization.
“In dealing with this issue, both of you must meet each other half way,” he added.
Thompson alleged “there were media houses which had violated the law but were allowed to operate…and not subjected to punitive measures as was done to Radio XYZ and Radio Gold.”
He mentioned that the NCA’s own documents showed that Oman FM and Kumasi-based Kessben FM had violated the laws but were allowed to broadcast their programmes.
The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has also insisted that the NCA discriminated in its decision to shut down Radio XYZ and Gold.