Ablakwa ‘Salutes’ Kufour For Upholding Media Freedom

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Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has paid a glowing tribute to former President John Kufuor for upholding media freedom during his administration.

The commendation by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator comes on the back of justification by the National Communications Authority (NCA) for shutting down two radio stations affiliated to the opposition party.

The shutdown of the two radio stations – Radio Gold and Radio XYZ – according to the NCA is part of a clampdown on radio stations operating without valid authorisations.

The action, according to the airwaves regulator, was an enforcement of the decision of the Electronic Communications Tribunal which includes closing down radio stations operating without valid authorisations.

But the management of Radio Gold has contested the basis for the shutdown.

They said they have been engaging NCA to correct the situation regarding their license.

The regulator on Saturday published a press statement detailing the chronology of happenings between it and the pro-opposition stations leading to their shutdown.

However, in a statement issued on Monday, Okudzeto Ablakwa said admitted that Radio Gold’s FM Frequency Authorisation expired in 2000, the station was not forced to shut down under former President Kufuor’s administration.

“What the chronology further reveals is that the John Agyekum Kufuor-led Government had every legal basis to in a similar fashion carry out a Gestapo-style shut down of Radio Gold during the eight years the NPP was in power, and which period Radio Gold was still an ardent critic of his Government, however, President John Agyekum Kufuor’s Administration just like its successor Prof. Mills and President Mahama Administrations, refused to do what President Akufo-Addo’s Administration has done,” Okudzeto Ablakwa stated.

He adds, “I absolutely concur with the GJA, GIBA, the Minority Leader in Parliament and many others that the NCA must publish the full status of all radio stations in Ghana if we are to believe that it’s recent actions against Radio Gold and Radio XYZ are not political hatchet jobs. President Kufuor, as regards media freedoms – I salute you for using your authority to polish and not to bruise.

“May that shining example of tolerance and true believe in press freedom inspire us to defeat the forces of tyranny, ironically, at a time your own party is at the helm of affairs.”

Source : Ghanaweb