A human rights activist and veteran Ghanaian lawyer, Anthony Akoto Ampaw (Esq), says Ghana is the Democratic Republic and not a Chiefdom. He made this revelation on the “GTV BBUM Show”, on Sunday, 4th September 2022.
This statement comes on the back of an incident that happened on a Kumasi-based radio station.
Managers of Oyerepa FM were asked to temporarily suspend operations and apologise to the Manhyia Palace, for allowing a guest on their political talk show — the founder of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Akwasi Addai Odike to use its medium to denigrate chiefs in Asanteman and the Asantehene. However, the case between Oyerepa FM and the Kumasi Traditional Council has been settled after some apologies were made by the radio station.
According to Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, chiefs play an important role in our society and are respected but they do not have the power or authority to close down radio stations.
He added that “It is important that this matter does not lead to a head-on confrontation between chiefly authority and all of us who are committed to media freedom and the best way to deal with this is one; for our chiefs not to purport to exercise powers that they don’t have, not to engage in the illegality of purporting to close down radio station because they say things that are unpalatable.”
Speaking on the “BBUM Show”, he emphasized the need for media houses to be cautious of how they moderate their programs, stating that, “media houses should be circumspect about how they moderate their programs, but for sure, no matter how circumspect media houses are, every now and again, people will say things that our chiefs will not be happy about, just as they say things, that the president of the republic, the first gentleman of our society may not be happy about.”
“It is very, very important, the chiefs, the political parties and their hooligans who attack radio stations, I think that something has to be done about it. And the really pathetic aspect of this is that when these things happen, you see no response from the state as a state. Maybe once in a while some noise, but practical action to defend the right to freedom of expression is lacking and I think that is a very, very serious thing” the veteran lawyer further stated.