Some media personnel in the Ashanti Region have expressed mixed reactions following the closure of Oyerepa FM, a local radio station, over unsavoury remarks made on its platform by Mr Akwasi Addai, Founder of the United Progressive Party (UPP).
Mr Addai, popularly known as ‘Odike’, has been cited by the Kumasi Traditional Council for contempt for his remarks linking the traditional authorities to illegal mining (galamsey).
According to the Council, those remarks were defamatory and an affront to the dignity and reputation of the traditional authorities, and, therefore, had banished him from entering the Manhyia Palace.
The Council, at its meeting on Thursday, August 25, chaired by the Acting President, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia VI, the Bantamahene, also accused Oyerepa FM of not acting diligently as the Management had allowed its platform to be abused by Mr. Addai.
Consequently, it directed the radio station to suspend all activities beginning Friday, August 26, and render an unqualified apology to the Council.
Some media personnel have expressed concern over the development in the recent incident calls for responsibility by the media, however that should not cow them into fright, thereby reneging on their constitutional duties.
Mr Kingsley Hope, the Regional Chairman, Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), advised the media, especially radio stations, to tread cautiously in their service delivery.
“We have the right to demand from the people who appear on our programmes the need to be responsible in their utterances and respect decorum, particularly on issues involving such high offices and personalities.
“Our right to freedom of speech does not give us the liberty to abuse the honourable platforms given us,” Mr Hope said.
He was, however, quick to add that that should not cow the media into fright, thereby reneging on their constitutional responsibilities, and expressed the hope that the issue would be resolved soon for the radio station to get back to performing its duties.
The Reverend Enoch Akonnor, a Freelance Journalist, appealed to the Traditional Council to be lenient on the station and forgive the management.
“We are all fallible, therefore, my humble message to the traditional authorities is to forgive the radio station.”
Some staff members of the radio station expressed the hope that the matter would be resolved amicably.