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02.11.2016 Feature Article

Rejoinder - Culture Of Silence, Media Propaganda, Media Terrorism And Ethnic Incitement Through Nkilgi FM At Bole

Rejoinder - Culture Of Silence, Media Propaganda, Media Terrorism And Ethnic Incitement Through Nkilgi FM At Bole
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I read a feature with the above heading and is very much surprised about the twists, half truths and in some cases lies of the phantom writer. First of all the name Kipo Gbolo Langa do not exist from my enquiries but I will go ahead and react to the feature.

Secondly Mahama Haruna is a qualified trained journalist having successfully completed the Ghana Institute of Journalism with a BA Degree in Communication Studies (with specialisation in Journalism) and cannot therefore be a "so called journalist".

It is true NKILGI FM came to Bole because of my relentless effort but it is not owned by President John Mahama. The phantom writer himself said; "It must be noted that President Mahama denied that he owns NKILGI FM during an interview on the same station when he visited Bole at the period of the voter exhibition exercise but as to why the station is located he President Mahama's fathers house has a big question mark". The Presidents words is enough to tell everyone he does not own the Radio station. So far as I know NKILGI FM is owned by a business man who set it up as his contribution to the develop met of Bole.

Radio is still important in the 21st Century because it provides an opportunity for people to keep up to date on the news and trends. Radio also provides portable entertainment and information for many.

Over the months, NKILGI FM has become a space where people from Bole, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and parts of West Gonja District can talk freely about their problems,their hopes, ideas and their dreams for the future and allows people to vent their frustrations about everything concerning their daily life activities.

NKILGI FM seek to promote good governance, public accountability and transparency using the power of Radio as a mass medium of communication. It also aims at community sensitisation and awareness creation on major social, economic and political issues geared towards improving quality of life of the people as well as increase their interest and effective participation in decision making process especially at the local level.

NKILGI FM broadcast its programmes in the languages of the people to bridge the illiterate and illiterate gap in order to get everybody involved in the process of development in the area and Ghana as a whole. The use of local languages for broadcast has enhance listenership of Radio in the Bole area.

The truth is some people have their prejudice largely because of where the studio of the Radio station is located. But should that be a problem when politicians own full buildings that have been used to house radio stations.

When we started our broadcast in July, 2016, I officially informed some NPP executives about our operations. I also informed some NPP activists at the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba constituency. I told them we might rely on them to get us panelists from their side for our morning show. They welcomed the idea and told me they will get back to me but never did. The next thing was a facebook post by a member of the NPP communication team in Bole-Bamboi. He wrote:

"If you are not part of the NPP communications team in Bole and you claim to be NPP member and you find yourself in bed with the NDC by attending programs on their RADIO (NKLIGI FM) then you are not speaking for the NPP but rather you are a hypocrate, that NKLIGI FM is a replica of MONTIE in Bole and we disassociate ourselves from anyone who will go on that NDC FM in Bole to talk for the NPP".

Yes I am glad a discerning NPP member Mr Issah Zakaria has availed himself and anyone who is old enough to know the history of NPP will not dare call him names. He was the NPP candidate for the 1996 elections in Bole-Bamboi and gave President Mahama a stiff competition. He speaks his mind and do not mind lambasting NPP or NDC depending on the situation.

I have realised that the only way some people think they could limit the relevance of NKILGI FM is to brazenly brand it as an NDC operated station. But the truth is news consumers do not care much about affiliation, that is why NKILGI FM is being listened to more by NPP members.

I can see the hypocrisy of the writer by making comparisons between the two Radio stations at Bole. Yes some NPP politicians are mischievously struggling to create a wedge between the two Radio Stations in Bole but they will fail. They are struggling to give tags to the two Radio Stations, thus one is NPP and one is NDC.

It is clear NKILGI FM has become a prickly thorn in the flesh of those who resorted to lies, deceit to prosecute an agenda against President Mahama. Our programmes burned in the ears of irritated NPP members who had a field day at Bole to spew lies and half truths. I can say without any shred of doubt that NKILGI FM presenters and hosts are very professional. Yes, part of being a good radio host or presenter is knowing what not to say. If listeners are insulted or embarrassed, they will not want to listen any more. Our hosts are aware that being a good radio host requires cultural sensitivity and accurate knowledge about an audience, from what style of program listeners prefer to what topics interest them. That is our secret.

With our four months of broadcasting, I have realised that people who are please with particular news stories and programmes praise NKILGI FM for fairness and objectivity but when a story is not so positive to the them, claims of media bias pour. NKILGI FM is the voice of the voiceless. Those who are feeling the heat are those complaining. We are undeterred and will continue to be the watchdog of Bole.

I have told my workers that, a good reporter or host should present the facts without fear or favour and not seek out praise or shy away from criticism.

We are not using sensationalism to hoodwink the people to listen to NKILGI FM. We have only made our programmes attractive. We have always called very prominent people to speak to issues and that has won us plaudits from our listeners.

It is interesting reading what the writer describe as my terrorist acts and gone ahead to talk about issues he is not well informed. We have always done due diligence in presenting issues. NKILGI FM has always given the opportunity to all sides of any issue under discussion. I've told the hosts, especially the morning show host to always call the major political parties on all issues but NPP executives have always declined to talk to us. They have asked for a letter before they start granting interviews to us which to me is absurd. Meanwhile they were the same people who condemned Yagbon radio and said it was doing the bidding of NDC.

The following are my reactions to what the phantom writer described as "examples of the terrorist acts of Haruna Mahama and his Nkikgi fm":

1. It is true that the Bole District Director of the Ghana Education (GES), Madam Zakpela was accused of tribalism, cronyism and corruption in an article. NKILGI FM discussed the issue and later sent a reporter to the office of the GES Director who reacted to all the allegations and we played her voice.

2. The NPP activist Harisu Abudulai did write on Facebook that Prex- doe a former NPP man defected to NDC because he was involved in a stealing case. We gave Prex doe an opportunity to react which he did. Harisu Abudulai declined to talk to NKILGI FM after initially agreeing to talk to us.

Harisu indeed used the term "a crab does not give birth to a snake" to refer Prex- doe's behavior of which the family of Prex doe took offense and that had nothing to do with NKILGI FM.

3. NKILGI FM did run a story on the delay of a Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA ) office which is to be built at Bole. Our interest was to see the office put up but not targeted at any family. In any case Mr Alex Abudulai succeeded in convincing Bole people on the ownership of the piece of land earmarked for the office of the DVLA.

4. On 11th October, 2016, Alhaji Sulemana Masa a confidant of the Bolewura and an NPP founding member went to the offices of Nkilgi Fm at Bole with a message that the Bolewura had summoned the morning show host called Kotochi Shaibu. According to Alhaji Sulemana Kotochi Shaibu announced on his morning show that Gonjas and Mos in Bole District were fighting over a village called Babator.

On the contrary Kotochi Shaibu called for unity between Gonjas and Mos saying they are one people with a common destiny after a story broke out that some armed youth allegedly from Bole stormed the Babator community, attacked and assaulted a Mo chief priest who they claimed had refused authority of the Babatorwura installed by the Chief of Bole. How come a host who called for unity was being invited by the Bolewura through an NPP founding member who is very close to the Bolewura?

I later contacted the Bolewura's Secretary and he said Bolewura was not aware of any invitation of Kotochi Shaibu, the morning show host of Nkilgi Fm at Bole. That is how the matter ended.

5. It is true on Friday 7th October, 2016, the NPP Chairman walked into the Sinapi Aba office of an NDC Communicator called Eric Poore and threatened to deal with him. According to Eric Poore the Chairman said he Eric said at an NDC paid programme on Bole based Nkilgi FM named JM Tanchiso (JM Continue) on the evening of Thursday 6th October, 2016 that Nana Akufo-Addo is irresponsible for leaving in fathers house at age 72. Eric explained that the Chairman also said he and NPP supporters in Bole- Bamboi will burn down NKILGI FM.

I spoke on air and said we will take measures to protect the NKILGI FM now that intention of NPP is made known. I also explained that NKILGI FM has no control over comments by NDC members on the show because it is a paid show and that there is a similar programme on a sister station in the area where unprintable words are said about the President John Dramani Mahama.

Finally NKILGI FM will stick to its objectives some of which are:

1. Promote community effective participation, engagement of civil society and ordinary citizens in decision- making process.

2. Deepen democracy, values of freedom of expression, voice to the voiceless; deprived; vulnerable and marginalised people and promote citizenship, tolerance and accountability, human rights and gender development.

3. Sustain peace, security and promoting healthy dialogue amongst stakeholders in conflict and by drawing on positive aspects of tradition and cultural heritage of the people.

4. Eradicate ignorance, disease and reduce poverty by way of public education on core issues such as environmental preservation, food security, health and hygiene, education, commerce and industry, issues affecting women and children development.

Mahama Haruna

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