The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has planned to meet the Kumasi Traditional Council over the temporary shutdown of Kumasi based private radio station, Oyerepa FM, in relation to Akwasi Addai Odike’s comment.
The meeting is intended to help address the rift between the traditional council and Oyerepa FM.
It is part of the GJA’s commitment to explore all avenues, including dialogue, to resolve the matter between the managers of the station and the traditional council.
The GJA in a statement dated Friday, August 26, 2022, signed by its General secretary, Kofi Yeboah said “Following the break of the news on the shutdown directed at Oyerepa FM by the Kumasi Traditional Council, the GJA quickly arranged to dispatch a delegation to Kumasi today, Friday, august 26, 2022, to meet with the traditional council and management of the radio station.”
“However, the delegation was advised to reschedule the mission to Monday, which is considered to be an appropriate time to meet the traditional council,” it added.
At a Kumasi Traditional Council meeting on Thursday, August 25, 2022, the managers of Oyerepa FM, were asked to temporarily suspend operations and apologise to the Manhyia Palace, for allowing the founder of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Akwasi Addai Odike to use its medium to “defame” chiefs in Asanteman and the Asantehene.
The meeting by the Kumasi Traditional Council was presided over by the Bantamahene, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia VI.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu is not in town, as he has travelled outside the country.
Among the conditions set by the Kumasi Traditional Council in relation to the resolution of the issue, is for the media house to temporarily suspend operations and properly appear before it with an apology.
The suspension of operations started today, Friday, August 26, 2022.
The Acting President of the council, Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia VI, the Bantamahene, gave the directive when the management of the media house called on the council to render an apology for the comments made by Odike.
Below is the GJA’s statement
ACCRA, August 26, 2022 (GJA) — The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is making arrangements to meet the Kumasi Traditional Council on Monday, August 29, 2022, to address the decision by the traditional council to shut down Kumasi-based Oyerepa FM. This is in line with the commitment of the GJA to explore all avenues, including dialogue, to resolve the matter.
Following the break of the news on the shutdown directed at Oyerepa FM by the Kumasi Traditional Council, the GJA quickly arranged to dispatch a delegation to Kumasi today, Friday. August 26, 2022, to meet with the traditional council and management of the radio station. However, the delegation was advised to reschedule the mission to Monday, which is considered to be an appropriate time to meet the traditional council.
The GJA has been Monitoring event in the past two days regarding the shutdown and is deeply Concerned about the action of the Kumasi Traditiouar Council which has the tendency to erode the gains of the country’s fledgling democracy.
At a meeting of the Kumasi Traditional Council and Managers of (Oyerepa FM, the Acting President, Baffour Amankwatia VI (Bantamahene); directed the Kumasi-based broadcaster to cease operation until they have purged themselves; traditionally; of allowing the founder of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Akwasi Addai (aka Odike), to use their media platform to criticize chiefs in Asanteman.
In compliance with the directive, Oyerepa FM/TV have suspended their operations as a show of remorse towards Nananom. The GJA believes that although Nananom May have been disturbed by the comments Made by Odike on Oyerepa FM, they could have used other means to address the matter than one that disturbs the nation’s democracy and Press freedom.
We wish to underline the fact that the Media and chieftaincy have a critical role to play in national development, and rightly so, the 1992 Constitution has made elaborate provisions for the operations of two institutions with the view to encouraging them to use their respective powers to promote national development.
However, the GJA is worried about recent development in which traditional authorities are descending heavily on the media.
Whilst decrying such incidents, the GJA also admonishes media practitioners and institutions to exhibit high professional standards and be circumspect in the discharge of their duties, particularly in discussing the matter at stake.