The Ministry of Information has condemned the attack on Elmina-based Benya FM, a statement from the Public Relations Unit has said on Thursday.
The statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said, Madam Fatimatu Abubakar, the Deputy Information Minister, had already spoken to the manager of the station and the District Police Commander, both of whom were working together to investigate the incident and ensure that the suspects are brought to book.
“There is no justification whatsoever for a broadcaster to be assaulted simply for doing his work.
An individual or group with a grievance against a broadcaster’s or journalist’s comments, or indeed any individual must follow legitimate and legal avenues to seek redress, including the right of rejoinder, which is guaranteed under Ghana’s 1992 Constitution,” it said.
The statement said there was no justification for the attack, as there were more appropriate means of registering complaints where one felt they were being misrepresented by the media.
“The National Media Commission (NMC) and the courts also constitute legitimate institutions to register complaints against media practitioners and companies.
“Where content has the potential to breach security, the police may be informed to take appropriate legal action. The Ministry of Information condemns the reported assault in no uncertain terms and urges the Police to promptly investigate and prosecute the alleged perpetrators accordingly.”
It is alleged that the attackers stormed the studio whilst a live talk show on fishing and premix fuel distribution issues was ongoing and assaulted the presenter for speaking against the improper distribution of premix fuel in the area.
The radio station has therefore gone off-air after the programme and is yet to resume.
It is alleged that the broadcaster who was assaulted, Mr Eric Blessing Eshun, alleged that the area’s Municipal Chief Executive, Ebo Appiah, was behind the attack.
This incident comes not long after Ghana was ranked poorly in the latest world press freedom index by the campaign group, the Reporters Without Borders.The 2022 index saw Ghana ranking 60 after placing 30 in 2021.
This is Ghana’s lowest-ever ranking in 17 years after it ranked 66th and 67th in 2005 and 2002 respectively.The latest report is out of 180 countries assessed with Ghana recording a decline in its indicative points from 78.67 per cent to 67.43 compared to last year.