Government and Politics

Mahama cautions NCA against oppressing dissenting radio stations

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Former President John Dramani Mahama has cautioned the National Communication Authority (NCA) for allegedly misapplying the law to oppress dissenting radio stations.

According to the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government’s use of the law to shut down pro-opposition radio stations is unacceptable.

“The stations have appealed to the electronic tribunal; somehow they’ve managed to get the judge to resign. Government has refused to appoint a new judge to adjudicate the case, deliberately, just so that they can keep the stations closed,” the former President said.

Speaking to a delegation from the Ghana Journalist Association who called on him about their 70th Anniversary, he added that no attempt has been made by the government to select a new judge to sit on the case after the sitting judge retired.

Earlier this year, several radio stations were shut down by the National communication authority who claimed these stations were operating without valid authorisation.

The stations, Radio XYZ and Radio Gold, are both owned by persons affiliated to the opposition NDC.

But Mr Mahama said shutting down radio stations that are affiliated to the opposition is bad precedence as it may possibly lead to future governments doing same.

In a warning to the NCA, John Mahama said the advent of technology is going to make the NCA obsolete as their actions are going to push more radio stations to go digital.

“I just want to caution the NCA… the way technology is going, a time will come when you’ll not need the NCA; when you’ll not need the frequency, and they’re going to force stations to bypass the NCA because if I don’t use the frequency I don’t need the NCA”, he said.

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