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20.05.2005 Gossips

Kufuor’s Man Moves to Kill Radio Programme (5)

By Lens

Adom FM's community-based programme, 'Ehinta Asem', has got the feathers of officialdom ruffled to the extent that the Castle has started piling pressure on the station to drop the programme or modify it to suit the dictates of the programme.

The Lens can reveal that President Kufuor's spokesman, Mr. Kwabena Agyapong recently made a number of telephone calls to officials of the Tema-based radio station and communicated to them the Kufuor-led NPP government's displeasure with the programme, adding that the government would like that the programme is either dropped completely or modified to suit government.

When The Lens contacted Mr. Kwabena Agyapong last Saturday on the premises of Radio Gold, he refused to comment on the matter, saying that he would only comment on the matter when The Lens reveals the source of its information.

The anchorman of the “Ehinta Asem” programme, Mr. Adakabre Frimpong-Manso, told The Lens in a telephone interview on Monday that he indeed received a call from Mr. Kwabena Agyapong complaining about the programme.

“You know, 'Ehinta Asem' is a programme designed to afford the people in authority the chance to hear what the real people in the communities are saying. I hope that they see it in a positive light,” Adakabre told The Lens.

Adakabre also told The Lens that though Kwabena Agyapong communicated the government's displeasure with the programme to him, he (Kwabena Agyapong) fell short of asking that the programme is taken off, “maybe because he knows I won't do it,” he said.

Meanwhile The Lens can also reveal that a Twi-speaking programme hosted by Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr. on the same Adom FM has been scrapped as a result of incessant pressure from some key government officials.

The effort by government officials to kill programmes that they consider as making the government unpopular raises a big question about the government's commitment to freedom of speech. The people who claim that they believe in freedom of speech are now acting to curtail the very freedom they claim to believe in. Obviously the only time they believe in freedom of speech is when that freedom is being used against the NDC and President Rawlings

That Mr. Kwabena Agyapong should try to have a programme killed or modified to suit government does not come as a surprise to many people. Indeed, in a recent interview with Radio Gold, he confessed that he believes that it is part of his job as the spokesman for the President to kill stories that government does not like.

Indeed, Mr. Agyapong tried to get Radio Gold to cease replaying President Kufuor's “Waa Waa” speech, but officials of Radio Gold would not allow Mr. Agyapong to determine their editorial policy.

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