Nkrumah was reacting to reports that staff of the radio station were attacked on Thursday by a group of unknown young men following discussions about the Songhor Lagoon project in the Greater Accra Region.
Speaking to pressmen in Accra, the minister condemned the attack and asked the police to ensure that the culprits are held responsible for their actions.
“The media are guaranteed the necessary freedoms to go about their work in this country. There is no justification for a group of people to physically attack a radio station and its staff for comments they have made on air. Even if a party is aggrieved at the comments made, there are legitimate and legal avenues for seeking redress. But such conduct cannot and should not be allowed to go unpunished,” Nkrumah said.
He added: “The National Media Commission or the courts constitute legitimate places to register displeasure at the conduct of the media if one is unhappy about any content published. Where even content has potential to offend the security of the area, the police may be informed to take the necessary action through legal means. But attacks of this nature are totally unacceptable and the perpetrators musts be identified, investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned.”
The minister additionally said he had spoken to management of the station and asked them to make a report to the office of the coordinated mechanism on the safety of journalists at the National Media Commission to take action.
He bemoaned the situation where attacks on journalists go unpunished saying it could breed a culture of impunity and intolerance of media work if not nipped in the bud. He also warned that such acts have the potential to weaken Ghana’s ranking on press freedom indices if not immediately addressed.
Statement by Radio Ada on the incident:
STATEMENT ON THE VIOLENT ATTACK ON RADIO ADA ON 13 JANUARY 2022
The Management of Radio Ada 93.3 fm wishes to inform its esteemed listening community that the station was violently attacked by a group of eight men today, Thursday, 13th January 2022 at about 11:30 a.m.
The attackers, one of whom was armed with a pistol, invaded the on-air studio by forcibly destroying its door open. They beat up the presenter and vandalised the on-air studio equipment, leading to the temporary shut-down of Radio Ada.
Two Radio Ada staff together with visitors to the station were held hostage during the attack.
The attackers openly declared that they had come to vandalise the station because of its Manor Munyu and other programmes discussing the recent developments in the Songor. They threatened to inflict further havoc should the station continue with programmes on the Songor.
The matter has been reported to the Big Ada police who came to take inventory of the damaged equipment.
The presenter who was beaten up has since been sent to the Ada East District Hospital for treatment.
The attack has been reported to the National Media Commission (NMC).
This announcement is being made to ensure that the facts of the attack are reported accurately and timeously. This announcement, interspersed with music, will be the only broadcast that Radio Ada will be making today.
The station will shut down for a few days from tomorrow to enable it to review and repair the extent of the damage caused.
Our listening community may be assured that Radio Ada will thereafter continue to broadcast and that its commitment to inform and to give voice to the Dangme community, particularly those least voiced, remains unchanged.
Source: Daily Mail GH