Thursday’s attack on the Onua Maakye team at Obuasi in the Ashanti region has been described by Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) Sulemana Braimah as a slap in Ghana’s democracy.
Mr. Braimah, who is the Executive Director of the Foundation says a democracy cannot be vibrant without an independent media, the reason such attacks must be condemned.
Speaking on Onua TV/FM’s Maakye with Nhyiraba Boadu, a sit-in co-host as a result of the disrupted Peoples’ Assembly at Obuasi, he said Ghana’s recent drop on the press freedom index is as a result of such attacks being mounted on the media recently.
“Your out-broadcast programme at Obuasi was meant to help the people of Obuasi themselves and this is what propels our democracy. But because they disrupted the programme, the problems there cannot be addressed.
“The attack is a slap on our democracy and it is part of the reasons for our recent decline on the press freedom index,” he indicated.
He went on to advise the media to keep in mind the ethics of the profession to ensure they don’t flout the rights of others in line of duty.
Meanwhile, Onua Maakye host, Captain Smart, has indicated that the Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, Elijah Adansi-Bonah, told him he ordered for the disruption of the morning show yesterday.
The Peoples’ Assembly is an offshoot programme of the Onua morning show, Maakye, which gives people the opportunity to present their challenges before authorities for immediate response to be provided.
With several reports of encounters between illegal miners and stakeholders of the Anglogold Ashanti Mine, the Maakye team stormed the municipality to ascertain from the people, what the underlying force for the numerous brawls could be.
But after the first day, some thugs led by a well built (macho) young man massacred the technical equipment of the set saying the NPP executives who attended the programme the previous day were booed when speaking, the reason they wouldn’t allow the show to continue on Thursday.
But speaking with Isaac Ansah Apagya back at Onua TV studios in Accra yesterday, host of the show, Captain Smart, said he called the MCE himself when the machoman said he wouldn’t allow the programme to take off.
“…So I asked him that you wouldn’t allow the show to go on in your capacity as who? He said he has been sent by an authority and I asked him, who sent you and he said the MCE. Then I called the MCE myself and his explanation was that, where we organised the programme is a parking lot for the assembly and they charge people for parking there so we were supposed to pay some money to the assembly. Then I said but I was with you on Tuesday night for almost two hours when we arrived. We were told they were going to bring a receipt for us to pay because we also have to render account to our bosses when we return so we needed the receipt but they did not bring it,” Captain Smart narrated.
Meanwhile, he denied an allegation made earlier on the show by a youth organiser of the NPP, one Bright Nyampong who said the team did not seek permission from the assembly before hosting the event there.
He clarified that, “it is not correct that we didn’t seek permission. I spoke to the caretaker of the place on phone, he is called Muniru and he told us to give him time to discuss with the assembly to do their calculations to know whether to reduce or increase the rate for us and we never heard from him again.”