The Ningo-Prampram MP has described as porous, the Communications Minister’s argument justifying the intention to close three GBC channels on the DTT platform.
Sam George, who is member of Parliament’s Communications Committee says not only is Ursula Owusu-Ekuful’s argument unconstitutional, but it also shows she does not understand her Ministry’s mandate.
The Minister in an interview with journalists in parliament on Wednesday said among the reasons for the intended closure of the channels of the state broadcaster, is the need to create redundancy on the DTT platform which she said is operating at full capacity.
Also, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful claims government has no platform of its own to communicate to the nation.
“Right now, if the state has need of broadcasting urgent communication to the public, it does not have any means of doing so.
“If the national security has need of broadcasting urgent communication to the citizens, it does not have any means of doing so,” the Minister said.
But disputing these assertions on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, Sam George noted that government’s primary mode of communication to citizens has been the state broadcaster.
The firebrand lawmaker does not understand why three channels must be ceded from the state broadcaster for the same purpose.
Speaking on the legality of the directive to GBC to consolidate their programming in readiness for the closure, Sam George stressed that the Minister’s order is riddled with unconstitutionality.
The order, he said, amounts to directing editors of the station which content they can put out, a violation of Article 162 of the Constitution which guarantees media freedom.
“Editors and publishers of newspapers and other institutions of the mass media shall not be subject to control or interference by Government, not shall they be penalised or harassed for their editorial opinions and views, or the content of their publications,” clause four of Article 162 reads.
Meanwhile, Director-General of GBC has written to the Minister rejecting the directive, adding, the GBC cannot close down three of its channels.
The management has also written to the National Media Commission asking them to get the government in order.