Senegal: MFWA worried over attack against radio station, presenter in Ghana

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has expressed worry over an attack against a prominent private radio station, Fox FM, in Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi, by thugs reported to be supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

In a statement, obtained by PANA in Dakar, Senegal, on Thursday, MFWA said the thugs attacked the radio presenter, Kwaku Kyere, and a panelist during a live political programme on Monday, 25 April, 2016.

''The MFWA finds the attack on the radio station, the programme host and panelist extremely worrying and distasteful.''

''The incident epitomises intolerance for dissenting political views and criticism and a belief that violence can be a solution for muting critical voices in political discourse,'' the statement noted.

According to the media rights watchdog, the mobsters numbering about six, violently broke into the studios of the radio station during a live programme and attacked the presenter and a panelist on the programme.

One of the panelists on the programme, Mr. Baah Acheamfuor, was said to have made a comment about the NPP on the programme even though the NPP was not the subject for discussion on the programme.

MFWA said the attackers, who were apparently angered by comments made by Mr. Acheamfour, stormed the station on motorbikes, overpowered security men at the station and violently stormed the studios.

Upon entering the studios, the well-built attackers were said to have pounced on Mr. Acheamfuor and the presenter of the show, Kwaku Kyere, was also said to have been hit.  

The police were called to save the situation but they arrived after the attackers had sped off on their motorbikes.

Mr. Acheamfuor is said to be a known supporter of the opposition NPP but a fierce critic of the party’s leader Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to MFWA, in September 2015, there were reports in the media indicating that Mr. Acheamfuor was to face disciplinary actions by the NPP for making certain allegations against some leaders of the party and earlier in May, Mr. Acheamfuor had accused the party’s leader of failing to unite factions within the party.

''The attack on the radio station also highlights the need for media organisations to prioritise safety of their workers and deploy mechanisms for ensuring same.''

''The MFWA commends the police for their timely intervention that saved the situation and urges the regional police command to thoroughly investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book,'' the statement pointed out.

It also called on the NPP to condemn the incident in the strongest possible terms and pronounce its intolerance for such violent acts by any groups or individuals in the name of the party.

''Such condemnation and pronouncement will help discourage any groups or persons from resorting to such condemnable acts,'' the statement concluded.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 28April2016

28 april 2016 14:03:47

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