Ghana ALERT: Minister Interrupts TV programme

Joe Baidoo Ansah, Ghana’s Minster of Trade and Industry, on April 24, 2008, interrupted a live-broadcast on Metropolitan Television (Metro TV), an Accra-based TV station, to register his displeasure about the inclusion of Nii Moi Thompson, an opposition spokesman, in the flagship programme “Good Evening Ghana”.

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) correspondent reported that the minister who was unhappy about Thompson’s comments stormed the studio amidst insult and threats, forcing a break in transmission.

Metro TV, a state/private station run a special edition of Good Evening Ghana to review the just ended United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meeting in Accra. It was during the programme that Thompson, who had been invited in his capacity as a policy analyst, made critical comments against the government.

Ansah told JOY FM, an Accra-based independent station, that he went into the studio to protest against the politicization of otherwise a United Nation programme.

Following the Minister’s behaviour, that particular edition of the “Good Evening Ghana” was not rebroadcast the next day as has been the practice. This led to Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Editor of the Insight, accusing the Minister of Information of masterminding it. Meanwhile, both the management of the station and the minister had denied Pratt’s allegation.

Explaining the rationale behind their refusal to rebroadcast, the management said that the programme was in a bad state and rebroadcasting would tarnish the country’s reputation.

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