We are citizens, you can’t stop us from sharing our views – Oye Lithur on Radio Gold/Radio XYZ shut down
Former Minister for Gender, Women and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has asked the National Communications Authority (NCA) to desist from suppressing the media and allow them to freely do their work.
According to her, media practitioners are also citizens and have the freedom to share their views on issues in the country.
Her comment comes after the NCA closed down some stations including Radio Gold and Radio XYZ which are said to be pro-NDC.
During a public forum on media freedom in Ghana in Accra, Oye Lithur stated that the job of the NCA is to strengthen the virtual space and ensure that each and everyone’s voice is heard and respected.
She added that, what the NPP government seeks to do under the NCA is to restrict the voice of the media and create fear and panic.
She stated that, “This is not the democracy we fought for and we will not allow the NPP government to continue with this”.
Oye Lithur called on churches, Muslim hierarchies and other prominent institutions to speak against the closure of media houses because, the act, she said, is causing fear and panic and could distort the peace and security in the country.
A statement issued by the NCA on May 9, 2019, said the closures were carried out in line 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 authorisation from the Authority.”
The NCA referenced a 2018 ruling by the Electronic Communications Tribunal on the status of FM stations with expired authorisation saying companies whose authorisations had expired reverted to the same position as fresh applicants.
It added that the applications were to through the required procedure for new FM Broadcasting Authorisation.
The shut down of stations extended beyond just Radio Gold and Radio XYZ.
Back in September 2017, the NCA looked to sanitise the broadcasting sector shutting down 34 radio and television stations for various infractions.
The NCA also imposed fines ranging from GHc50,000 to GHC61,000,000.
The NCA in the 2017 audit fined Radio XYZ GHs 4,090,000 in September 2017 for operating with a license that expired on 8th May 2016.
In the report, Radio Gold was also fined GHs 61,330,000 for operating with a license that expired on 6th September 2000