Executive Director of the Media Foundation West Africa, Sulemana Braimah, has said shutting down media houses belonging to opposition parties and then granting frequency licenses of affected media houses to families, friends does not justify democracy.
According to him, the country can only strive if there are a diversity of voices that speak for or against the ruling or opposition government.
His comment comes after reports alleging that the National Communications Authority (NCA), the broadcasting and telecommunication frequency regulator in Ghana, has given the frequency of closed down Accra-based radio stations, Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, to a new one named Asaase Radio.
Radio Gold and Radio XYZ were shut down in May 2019 with the regulator NCA, indicating closure of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) affiliated media houses was carried out in accordance with Regulations 65 (1) of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, L. I. 1991, which states that “a person shall not use a radio frequency without authorization from the Authority.”
Meanwhile, the new radio station with the frequency 99.5FM is alleged to belong to members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) even though the names of the owners have not been disclosed.
Sulemana Braimah, in a Facebook post, described the move by the NPP as “undemocratic” on the side of government to shut down the broadcast media firms only to give out their frequencies to a new one allegedly owned by family and friends.
“Democracy is built NOT by shutting down opposition broadcast media and granting frequencies to family and friends. Democracy thrives on diversity of voices, not monologue praise-singing by allies of a ruling party,” he said.