By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho Central in the Volta Region, Benjamin Kpodo has entreated the leadership of Volta-chapter of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to speak against acts that could undermine press freedom.
Hon. Kpodo who was referring to recent closure of some radio stations in parts of the country including Accra-based Radio Gold and Radio XYZ (pro-opposition stations) by the National Communications Authority (NCA) said, “we want you to be strong to condemn such acts that tend to limit freedom of the media.”
The closure of these two radio stations and several media houses across the country for failing to renew their operating licenses received some backlash from a section of the Ghanaian public and civil society organisations such as Media Foundation for West Africa and Free Media Vanguard with the latter organising a protest on May 21 to drive home their conviction that the media in Ghana had come under threat.
But Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah defended the exercise by the NCA saying the new administration would apply the law no matter how difficult and would not allow radio stations to disobey it.
Mr. Kpodo insisted the manner in which the law was implemented in the shutdown must be condemned.
“This is the time to speak for yourselves. You need to rise up and protest against this draconian implementation of existing laws. In the past, these things did exist but because of the desire to keep the press free, they were not that harshly implemented.”
The MP made the call when he visited the ongoing site of the only regional press centre in the country, Volta Press Centre to present a cheque of Gh¢1,500.00 as his contribution towards the project.
He commended leadership of the Association for the initiative to put up a convenient place for journalists and media practitioners in the region and pledged his readiness to support their cause.
Chairman of Volta GJA, A.B. Kafui Kanyi thanked Hon. Kpodo and other individuals and groups, notable among them being Rockson Dogbega, Afe Lotto, COP George Dampare, COP George Tuffuor, Mamaga Ametor II and Theophilus Gadzanku for their support.
Others included Dela Gadzanku, Kwame Agbodza, Emmanuel Bedzrah, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, James Avedzi, Dr. Charity Binka, Mama Attratoh II, Loggu Motors, Adanu (NGO), Dede Foundation, James Gunu, Capt. Rtd George Nfodjoh, Nelson Akorli, Rev. Atsu Kadeh, Kafui Woanya, Bob Kofi, Wilson Anumah, AGI, Dr. Archibald Letsa, and Volta Regional Coordinating Council.
Mr. Kanyi said the first phase of the project would be completed and commissioned on Friday,June 21, 2019 to serve as rallying point for media practitioners in Volta/Oti regions and the nation at large.