The National Communications Authority (NCA) and National Security have recorded an unspecified number of arrests and seizure of equipment after the Tongu Community Multimedia Network (Radio Tongu) in the Volta Region “illegally” resumed operations.
This is after the NCA suspended the authorisation of Radio Tongu on grounds of national security and the public interest.
The NCA in a statement said the “unilateral re-opening of the Station has undermined ongoing discussions and consultations with the opinion leaders of the South Tongu Community, and with the District Security Council.”
National Security in the Volta Region had picked up the Director of Radio Tongu, Bestway Zottor, at his residence over some comments he allegedly made about his involvement in the activities of the Western Togoland secessionist group, Homeland Study Group Foundation.
Bestway Zottor was said to have accused the Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, of “funding the activities of the separatist movement while [the governing New Patriotic Party was] in opposition.”
Since then, the NCA has said it has received “subtle threats” from Bestway Zottor ahead of him re-opening the radio station.
“In particular, the Authority has recently received a letter from Mr. Bestway Zottor dated 11th April, 2020 threatening mayhem in Sogakope and its environs. The said letter speaks to impending explosive demonstrations that cannot be contained, among others,” the NCA said.
Find below the full statement
RADIO TONGU IN SOGAKOPE SHUT DOWN FOR OPERATING WITHOUT VALID AUTHORISATION
Accra, 20th April, 2020: The National Communications Authority (NCA) wishes to inform the general public about the illegal activities of some persons involved in the operations of Radio Tongu 92.1 MHz without a valid authorisation.
The events leading to this state of affairs are as follows:
- It will be recalled that on 11th February 2020, the NCA suspended the Authorisation of Radio Tongu 92.1 MHz on grounds of national security and the public interest. The enforcement of the suspension resulted in the closing down of the Station in accordance with Section 13(1)(e) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775).
- Since the closure of the station, the Authority has received an “Undertaking” from Mamaga Adokuwa Azaworgbe IV (Executive Chair) and Mabel Esinam Agbador (Executive Council Secretary) on behalf of the Tongu Community Multimedia Network (TCMN) promising to “with immediate effect suspend the education on Western Togoland’s self determination to independence indefinitely.” A copy of the said Undertaking is attached in this release.
- The Authority has also received a number of correspondences from one Bestway Zottor (a Director of TCMN and a key architect in the Western Togoland secessionist agenda), whose illegal conducts informed the decision to suspend the Authorisation of the Station.
- In particular, the Authority has recently received a letter from Mr. Bestway Zottor dated 11th April, 2020 threatening mayhem in Sogakope and its environs. The said letter speaks to impending explosive demonstrations that cannot be contained, among others. In his 11th April letter to the NCA, Mr. Bestway Zottor states that, “I am sure this pending demonstration against Radio Tongu closure could be more explosive than that resulting [sic] from the murder of Hon. Mawutor Adzahli, the Sogakope Assemblyman. For the pent-up anger in our listeners is loaded, and we will NOT be able to calm them down anymore.”
- Further to the subtle threats in the said letter, Mr. Bestway Zottor and his assigns defied all odds and illegally re-opened the Station for mass communication in spite of the fact that the Authorisation of the Station is suspended.
- This unilateral re-opening of the Station has undermined ongoing discussions and consultations with the opinion leaders of the South Tongu Community, and with the District Security Council.
- It is in this regard that the National Security and the NCA have shut the station down. In addition to this, equipment used in the illegal operations have been seized and confiscated, and the persons involved in the illegal operations will be arrested for prosecution pursuant to the following:
- Section 73 of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775)
- Regulation 87(1)(a) of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 1991)
- As a community radio station, the NCA will continue to engage the leadership of the South Tongu Community/TCMN and the District Security Council to find a lasting solution to the impasse, while the law takes its course with regard to the individuals arrested.
- The NCA wishes to stress that the Authority will endeavour to execute its mandate as set out by law and calls on stakeholders to adhere to the tenets and regulations governing the communications industry.
Issued by the National Communications Authority: