A former flagbearer aspirant of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sylvester Mensah, has accused the government of trying to silence his party ahead of the 2020 elections.
He made the remark on the back of the closure of two pro-opposition radio stations; Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, by the National Communications Authority (NCA) for not having proper authorisation.
Speaking at a Press Freedom vigil organised by a group calling itself Free Media Vanguards at the premises of Radio Gold on Friday evening, Mr. Mensah said the government was raising the political temperature with a “deliberate strategy of defacing all opponents in this country whilst at the same time consolidating political power.”
“The NPP government and its collaborators in the security apparatus have targeted defenceless Ghanaians and corporate entities for destruction…The NDC as a political party is being deprived of a voice as we draw close to the 2020 general elections.”
In a show of resolve, the Managers of Radio Gold have also said they are not perturbed by the action taken against them by the NCA.
Speaking at the vigil service, CEO of Radio Gold, James Agyenim Boateng said: “This action is not going to stop us, it is not going to tame us, it is not going to force us to change our programming or what we do.
“We will continue to do programmes that will put the government on its toes. We will be untamed, we will be unbowed, and we will continue to be radio gold.”
As a show of good faith, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is demanding from the National Communications Authority (NCA) a full publication of the authorization status of all radio stations in the country.
The GJA also urged the NCA to reverse the action and give the stations some time to make amends.
Shutdown not politically motivated
The government has denied claims that the shutdown of the two stations was politically motivated.
Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the shutdown was to cover all users of the electronic spectrum who are operating without the right authorisation.
“I am very sure some persons would speculate that this exercise appears to be an action against the two radio stations that may appear to be unaligned to the current administration. But the brief I have is that, this exercise cuts across various user of spectrums who have been cautioned that they had been operating without authorization for some years now. And this exercise has been going on for a year now,” he explained.