The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has insisted that the NCA discriminated in its decision to shut down some radio stations in the country.
In 2019, the National Communications Authority ordered the Network Broadcasting Company and XYZ Broadcasting Limited, operators of Radio Gold and Radio XYZ respectively, to shut down for operating without authorization.
The two stations are owned by persons affiliated with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
But during her vetting at Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Minister-designate for Communication and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said that she was not responsible for the closure of the radio stations, explaining that the shutdowns were not motivated by politics but were done within the remit of the law.
Sulemana Briamah, a media freedom advocate, however, insists the processes leading to the shutdown of the radio stations showed how politically-motivated they were, especially when owners of Radio XYZ tried to get their licenses renewed before they were ordered to shut down.
“From our investigations, since the decision to shut down a number of radio stations was taken, we have always said that the action was politically motivated. Starting from the evidence that was available,” said Braimah.
He stressed that data from the NCA itself indicates that over 100 radio stations in the country hadn’t renewed their license, yet, they have been captured as authorized stations.
By this, he explained that the ‘politically motivated’ move was meant to cut off a selected few, including Radio Gold and Radio XYZ.
“Nobody will hold a grudge against any institution if it seeks to enforce our laws. Indeed, laws are made to ensure that we live in a society that is orderly and justice prevail.
“But in enforcing the law, if A does something and it’s punished and B does the same thing, it is expected that the same punishment is meted out to it. So, the issue is actually not the NCA deciding to apply the law, but the NCA in applying the law being discriminatory,” he explained.
The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa was speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Monday, February 15, 2021, reports myjoyonline.com.