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06.05.2019 General News

Why Akufo-Addo Gov’t Boycotted Multimedia Platforms [Inside Story]

By Clement Akoloh
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo

It has come to the fore that the party in power, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its government have decided to boycott political programmes on the Multimedia platforms.

This includes Joy Fm and its other platforms such as JoyNews, Asempa Fm, Adon Fm, Nhyira Fm and Luv Fm in Kumasi, Hits Fm, Myjoyonline, adomfmonline and Joy Prime.

It is not clear why the NPP, a party which is celebrated in Ghana as more 'media friendly' than its opponent, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has decided to take this decision against the popular station that is claimed to have aided the party win the 2016 general elections.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is ranked among the few Ghanaians who appreciate the issues of human rights and press freedom very well. It was during his tenure as Attorney General in the first NPP led administration under former president John Agyekum Kufuor that the Criminal Libel Law which was carried over from Chairman Rawlings led administration was repealed.

The current Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, is also a very well-known figure associated with the media. Indeed, until his entry into politics. Mr Oppong Nkrumah was the host of the morning show on Joy Fm, one of the media platforms under the Multimedia group for many years.

In the absence of any formal communication for the boycott, political watchers have been left scratching their heads as to what really might have caused this government to change its attitude towards the station that once became their favourite platform to propagate the then Presidential candidate of NPP in the run-up to the 2016 general elections.

But what is in the known is that, the Minister for Information had the course to file a formal complaint with the National Media Commission (NMC) on behalf of government against the Multimedia group on March 13 for the broadcast of the documentary, ‘Militia in the heart of the nation’ produced by JoyNews undercover journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah had demanded an apology from Multimedia Group Limited for denigrating the image of government in the said documentary which portrayed government as supporting the activities of militia groups in the country.

The Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako had the occasion to berate government about this development on Joy Fm’s Newsfile programme on Saturday morning when the host of the programme, Samson Lardy Ayeneni confirmed the boycott.

The astute media practitioner used strong words to describe the position of government on this issue.

“It is cowardly, not strategic and I didn’t expect that to come from the NPP…if there’s any such policy, I’m appealing to government and the NPP to review it, “he said.