The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has called on Ghanaians to vote against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led-government if they fail to restore the media frequencies of pro-opposition media houses.
This comes on the closure of Radio Gold and Radio XYZ, both of which are pro-opposition media houses, by the National Communication Authority (NCA).
NCA explained that the two media houses were operating without valid authorization.
However, the group in a statement signed and issued by Mensah Thompson, Executive Director at ASEPA on Tuesday, believes the closure of the media houses is an attempt by the government to scuttle Press Freedom, adding it is a serious over-throw of the 1992 Constitution which makes provision for absolute freedom and Independence of the Press.
"As a CSO we know the importance of Press Freedom, not just Press Freedom but the freedom as citizens to criticize our government and make the government better," the statement read.
Meanwhile, ASEPA is part of the hundreds of Ghanaians who are on the streets Accra demonstrating the displeasure towards the attempt by the government to suppress Press Freedom in the country.
Below is the Statement:
CLOSURE OF PRO-OPPOSITION MEDIA HOUSES IS AN OVERTHROW OF THE 1992 CONSTITUTION- ASEPA CALLS ON GHANAIANS TO VOTE AGAINST THE NPP GOVERNMENT IF IT FAILS TO RESTORE THE FREQUENCY OF PRO-OPPOSITION MEDIA HOUSES AS IT JOINS DEMO TODAY
The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability-ASEPA will today join the Free Media Vanguard as well as other well-meaning CSOs and Ghanaians to demonstrate our displeasure towards the attempt by Government to suppress Press Freedom in this Country.
This is one of many marches and demonstrations that are going to happen in the Country if the NCA does not reverse its a decision on the closure of some key media stations in the Country.
We strongly believe that the closure of RadioXYZ and Radiogold, as well as other pro-Opposition media houses, is an attempt not to just to scuttle Press Freedom but also a serious overthrow of the 1992 Constitution which makes provision for absolute freedom and Independence of the Press.
As a CSO we know the importance of Press Freedom, not just Press Freedom but the freedom as citizens to criticize our government and make the government better.
We are thereby calling on Ghanaians to unequivocally reject any government or Party that does not tolerate and uphold the fundamental freedom of expression of its Citizens.
We call on Ghanaians to vote against the NPP government if they fail to restore the media frequencies of these closed media houses as it would be ultimately better to have a "non performing" government that Citizens can criticize and express their opinions freely and effectively than to have a "performing" government who has absolutely no respect for the fundamental freedom of expression of its Citizens as well as the Media.
Because that is the very foundation of democracy!
We entreat all and sundry to come out in their numbers today to offer solidarity for this cause, not just pro-Opposition media houses, we call on pro-government media houses as well to join this demonstration as it will be in their best interest to join any fight against any unfounded precedence that can threaten their very existence as well should any new government come to power.
It is our hope that after this demonstration, Government would listen to the voice of the people and revise its posture on the closure of all pro-Opposition media houses as well as the apparent suppression of the freedom of expression.
We also call on the Diplomatic Corps especially the United States, the British and French Embassies in Ghana to use their Diplomatic powers and privileges to impress on Government to reverse these undemocratic decisions if they are the true vanguard of democracy.
We have also sent correspondence to the international media to offer extensive coverage for this important demonstration and to expose the democratic lapses and breaches thriving under this regime of President Akufo Addo to the rest of the World.
We have also sent correspondence to several developmental partners including the USAID, the World Bank, and other donor partners to suspend any support or funding for this government if it fails to restore the licenses of all pro-opposition media houses across the Country by the end of this Month.
Executive Director ASEPA