Story by Halifax Ansah-Addo
Daily Guide of Friday, June 19, 2009.
CHOICE FM, an Accra based private radio station, has been ordered not to broadcast a political current affairs programme it intends to start airing from this Saturday.
Promotional adverts for the programme, ‘Ghana Speaks’ has already started running on air when the station was yesterday warned that it would be broadcasting the program at the risk of the Host losing his life and the station running into problems.
Choice Fm belongs to Fred Oware, who was recently sacked by government from his position as Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Hydro Energy Development Project.
The threatening order, which was first sent in the form of a telephone call and a sms text message from a telephone number 0244371682, was reinforced by three men who stormed the station yesterday and introduced themselves to the General Manager, Raymond Afaga-Chie, as National Security agents.
The agents, said they had ‘orders from above’ to order the station not to broadcast the program because the promotional advert was injurious to the government in power and the Host, Martin Adjei-Mensah, is a know student leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr. Raymond Afaga-Chie in an interview with Daily Guide yesterday said the three intruders appeared mean and demanded to have a blue print of the programme’s contents and synopsis for the weeks to come.
“They were shouting on me to tell them the aim of the programme but I asked them to listen to the promo because it says it all and moreover we are a private station so I am not accountable to them in any way.
“I was surprised that they did not want to show their ID cards and when I insisted, one of them went back to the car only to come back and say they were from National security so I better cooperate with them in my own interest” Mr. Afaga-Chie added.
The promo of the programme raises questions on whether or not the new government had lived up to expectation in the last six months or it had been given more than it can handle.
The threatening sms which was sent to Martin Adjei-Mensah’s phone read: “How can you, a onetime serving President of TESCON NPP wing host a programme; it is because you want to be biased. You useless bastard. Stars it and you will see if you want to see something. BIG FOOL. We would finish you.”
Though Adjei-Mensah admitted he was a former President of the students’ wing of the NPP at the University of Ghana Legon, he said the programme would be an objective one and would follow the ethics of broadcasting.
Choice Fm says it would go ahead to air the programme this Saturday at 7pm and the issue had been reported to the Police for investigations.