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17.05.2019 Feature Article

Are Kwesi Pratt Jnr & Prof. Gyampo Making Sense on the Closure ofSome Radio Stations and the Prosecution of Corrupt Officials?

Are Kwesi Pratt Jnr & Prof. Gyampo Making Sense on the Closure ofSome Radio Stations and the Prosecution of Corrupt Officials?

For the past few days, there have been hullabaloos being bandied about the firm decision by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to close down some radio stations for operating without license or for failure to renew their license that has expired for nearly two decades, nineteen years to be precise.

Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr., the Editor-in-Chief of the Insight Newspaper has since the announcement of the closure of the radio stations, Radio Gold and radio XYZ, been vociferously castigating the government and the NCA for harbouring political mischief against the supposedly pro-NDC radio stations. He claims the Ghana Constitution allows for the proprietors of electronic communications to operate without licence hence the reason adduced by the NCA for the closure of the radio stations is reckless, frivolous, vexatious and politically motivated.

Following from his continuous absurd raised voices defence of the radio stations in condemnation of the NCA, I was compelled to make a search on the internet to see when the NCA was formed and some of their duties.

I found the following:
“The National Communications Authority (NCA) was established by the National Communications Authority Act, 1996, Act 524, now repealed by the National Communications Authority Act of 2008, Act 769, to regulate communications by wire, cable, radio, television, satellite and similar means of technology for the orderly development and operation of efficient communications services in Ghana”.

Among its functions are; as could be ascertained from the underlying web link:

(a) To establish and monitor the implementation of national communications standards and ensure compliance accordingly;

(b) To formulate a strategic plan;
(c) To grant communication licence;
(d) To regulate and monitor licencees, holders of frequency authorisations in consultation with the National Media Commission where appropriate;

(e) To ensure fair competition amongst licencees, operators of communications networks and service providers of public communications

The detail responsibilities of NCA can be found from the web link below.

https://www.nca.org.gh/assets/Uploads/NCA-SERVICE-CHARTER-FINAL.pdf

“According to the National Communications Authority (NCA), the two stations were shut down because they failed to comply with the ruling of the Electronic Communications Tribunal (ECT)”.

Additionally, this notorious Kwesi Pratt Jnr who appears to be a law unto himself, an infatuated defender and mouthpiece of the NDC, seems to me to have lost his mind. He is getting bigger and bigger with the passage of time with his insane defence of the NDC and his maliciously selfish contributions toward the disseminations of government policies and matters affecting Ghana politics in general.

Under the General News of Wednesday, 15 May 2019, of Ghanaweb, we have a publication on Kwesi Pratt Jnr headlined, “Be very careful - Pratt cautions people calling for prosecution from Amidu”. "While you are calling for people to be prosecuted; be very careful . . . very soon it will be your turn," he said while discussing Martin Amidu and matters arising on Peace FM's morning show 'Kokrokoo', Tuesday”.

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Be-very-careful-Pratt-cautions-people-calling-for-prosecution-from-Amidu-746266

What does he want to tell Ghanaians? Is he asking us to leave the corrupt NDC officials alone to enjoy their booty in peace for after all, the NPP officials are also embezzling funds hence will be treated the same way as they treat the NDC officials? Let me gently ask Kwesi Pratt Jnr if he supports the fight against corruption or he is for the thriving and ramification of institutional corruption in Ghana? He is not making any sense to me here so I need further and better explanations from him.

Any corrupt government official must the held accountable through prosecution and conviction regardless of whatever political party they belong to.

Going forward, I have one Prof. Ransford Gyampo, Director at the Centre for European Studies at University of Ghana, condemning the timing of the decision by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to shut down Radio Gold and Radio XYZ. He says and I quote, ““We cannot allow Radio stations to operate without requisite licenses. I am of the firm belief and conviction that those who seek to ensure that politicians do the right thing, must themselves operate within the confines of rules. But whoever ordered the shutdown of the radio stations at this crucial time, when our international rating on press freedom has reportedly gone down; and more importantly, when the political temperature of the country seem to be rising, has no good judgement and proper sense of timing. Couldn’t this have been deferred to next week? A bad thing, is a good thing done at the wrong time”. His fullest reasons could be read from the web link below.

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Radio-Gold-XYZ-shut-down-bad-judgement-Gyampo-745112

I have a few questions for Professor Ransford Gyampo:

a) When is it the right time to deal with people who flout the laws?

b) When and how did the press freedom of Ghana go down?

c) When an organization is breaching the laws of the land, do we look on nonchalance, allowing it to continue with their reprehensibly irresponsible attitude because of the heightened political temperature in the country?

d) What has raised the political temperature in the country today but will cool it down next week according to your statement?

e) For how long should we allow organisations to infract the acceptable laws of the land with impunity?

f) The fact that the NPP government of President John Agyekum Kufuor did nothing, the NDC governments of the late Prof. Atta Mills and former President John Mahama did nothing, and the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo has done nothing in his first two years in office do not exonerate the radio stations not having license to operate from blame and punishment. Therefore, is the submission by our noble Prof. Gyampo to rubbish the closure of the radio stations because of the time lapse not preposterous at best?

Wonders will never cease in Ghana where everything is assigned a political party tag. The more I feel and decide to end my political writings, the more some stupid issues arise that compel me to write to express my views.

Rockson Adofo

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo, © 2019

This author has authored 1771 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: RocksonAdofo

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