June 14, 2024
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Bawku conflict: NCA, NMC to be petitioned over closure of 4 radio stations

Managers of the four radio stations shut down by the National Communications Authority (NCA) in Bawku say they will petition both the NCA and the National Media Commission (NMC) over the closure.

The NCA, in a statement dated February 24, 2024, said it has shut down Bawku FM, Source FM, Zahra FM, and Gumah FM in Bawku in the Upper East Region based on the advice of National Security.

It added that incendiary utterances of the panelists and presenters of the radio stations have contributed to the escalation of the Bawku conflict leading to loss of lives and property in the area.

It said consequently, the NCA has invoked its powers to shut down the stations in accordance with Section (1)(e) of the Electronic Communications Act,2008 (ACT 775) which provides that “the Authority may suspend or revoke a licence or a frequency authorization where; the suspension or revocation is necessary because of national security or is in the public interest”.

But speaking to JoyNews, the General Manager of Gumah FM, Nurudeen Gumah said the NCA did not engage the media houses on any of the allegations.

He further indicated that management will pursue the matter to bring some finality.

“We are going to petition the NCA and we are also going to lodge a formal complaint with the National Media Commission because we are fully aware that it is the National Media Commission that is supposed to regulate content and the Media Commission they have been engaging us.

“So we will lodge the formal complaint and then we will petition the NCA and find out why they have to suspend our authorisation.

“We are hoping that by next week we will be back on air,” he added.

Meanwhile, the development has sparked reactions among residents who say they are unhappy with the actions of the NCA.

Touching on the development, a resident said the various social media platforms are causing more harm than traditional news outlets.

“Facebook is one of the dangerous tools that has escalated the crisis. We have had Facebook accounts or pseudo accounts which have caused more violence, caused a lot of lives to be lost in Bawku and yet they cannot be investigated to arrest these pseudo-account users but they are rather closing down radio stations.

“Yesterday there was an attack at Walewale, and nobody seems to be talking about it but rather they are coming to close radio stations,” the resident added.

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