The National Communications Authority (NCA) has shut down Radio Tongu 92.1 FM in Sogakope in the Volta Region for operating without a valid authorisation.
Recounting events that led to the shutdown, the Authority said on February 11 this year, it suspended the authorisation of the station on grounds of national security and the public interest.
“The enforcement of the suspension resulted in the closing down of the Station in accordance with Section 13(1)(e) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775),” it explained in a press statement Monday.
According to NCA, “Since the closure of the station, the Authority has received an “Undertaking” from Mamaga Adokuwa Azaworgbe IV (Executive Chair) and Mabel Esinam Agbador (Executive Council Secretary) on behalf of the Tongu Community Multimedia Network (TCMN) promising to “with immediate effect suspend the education on Western Togoland’s self determination to independence indefinitely.”
The Authority says it also received a number of correspondences from one Bestway Zottor (a Director of TCMN and a key architect in the Western Togoland secessionist agenda), whose illegal conducts informed the decision to suspend the Authorisation of the Station.
The NCA recounted that in particular, it recently received a letter from Mr. Bestway Zottor dated April 11, threatening mayhem in Sogakope and its environs.
It said the letter speaks to impending explosive demonstrations that cannot be contained, among others.
According to the NCA, in the said letter, Mr Zottor stated that “I am sure this pending demonstration against Radio Tongu closure could be more explosive than that resulting [sic] from the murder of Mawutor Adzahli, the Sogakope Assemblyman. For the pent-up anger in our listeners is loaded, and we will NOT be able to calm them down anymore.”
The Authority also claims that “Further to the subtle threats in the said letter, Mr Bestway Zottor and his assigns defied all odds and illegally re-opened the Station for mass communication in spite of the fact that the Authorisation of the Station is suspended.”
The NCA said, “This unilateral re-opening of the Station has undermined ongoing discussions and consultations with the opinion leaders of the South Tongu Community, and with the District Security Council.”
“It is in this regard that the National Security and the NCA have shut the station down. In addition to this, equipment used in the illegal operations have been seized and confiscated, and the persons involved in the illegal operations will be arrested for prosecution pursuant to the following:
“As a community radio station, the NCA will continue to engage the leadership of the South Tongu Community/TCMN and the District Security Council to find a lasting solution to the impasse, while the law takes its course with regard to the individuals arrested.”
The Authority said it will endeavour to execute its mandate as set out by law and calls on stakeholders to adhere to the tenets and regulations governing the communications industry.