The Greater Accra Regional wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has condemned the vandalisation of equipment and manhandling of staff at Radio Ada by unknown thugs and called for investigation into the matter.
In a statement issued by the Regional Communication Officer, Jerry Johnson, the NDC described the attack on the radio station as ‘disgusting’ and ‘unacceptable’; adding that, the incident is a blight on the ruling New Patriotic Party.
“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 statement said.
The NDC also indicated that the assault on some personnel at Radio Ada, adds to the number of attacks on the media in recent times.
“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”, the statement said.
The NDC has therefore called for swift investigations into the matter.
“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”, the NDC urged.
On Thursday, January 13, thugs attacked the premises of Radio Ada, a community radio station at Ada. The incident is reported to have occurred in the morning. The reports indicate that the thugs, numbering about 10, destroyed equipment and furniture in some of the station’s offices and manhandled two staff members over the content aired on one of the station’s programmes- ‘Manor Munyu’.
They later went into one of the studios and attacked the presenter and destroyed equipment. The Head of Programmes and External Communications at Radio Ada, Julius Odoi, who confirmed the incident, said “The presenter in the studio shut the door, when he realised that the thugs were on their way in, but they forced their way and started slapping him.” Management of the station has reported the incident to the Police in Ada, who have since commenced investigations.
Meanwhile, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), has also added its voice to calls for investigations into the matter.
“We are confident that the station and its staff will continue to stand firm in service to the public and demand that the authorities take measures to provide them the needed protection. We urge the Police to conduct thorough investigations into the incident and bring the perpetrators to book”, the MFWA said.
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