The Ashanti Youth Incorporated, a traditional youth group in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, gave a three-day ultimatum to the management of Multimedia Broadcasting Company, owners of a network of radio stations including Luv FM in Kumasi, to sack the host of a morning newspaper review programme, Ato Kwamena Dadzie, for allegedly insulting the king of Ashanti, the Asantehene.
The programme is relayed on Luv FM and all the group’s stations across the country.
The group’s vice president, Blessed Godsbrain Smart who is also a morning show host on another Kumasi station, privately-owned Fox FM, reportedly threatened to “vandalize” Luv FM, which relays Dadzie’s newspaper review programme, originally broadcast from Accra-based Joy FM.
However, in a telephone interview with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Smart denied using the word “vandalize” but said he was conveying the orders of members of the Ashanti Youth Incorporated and that Dadzie had been given up to March 24 to apologise otherwise they would “go to” the station on March 25.
“Until Dadzie apologises, his voice is banned in Kumasi,” he added.
The threat followed an opinion piece that Dadzie wrote on his blog www.atod.com, which was also posted on www.myjoyonline.com, the Website of Multimedia Broadcasting Company which owns both Luv and Joy FM. The article had attacked the Asantehene (Ashanti King) over comments he made in the wake of a feud between him and another traditional chief.
Saeed Ali Yakub, Luv FM news editor, told MFWA that the management of the media group had presented a complaint about the group’s threats to the Ashanti Regional command of the Ghana police with recordings of Fox FM’s morning show on which Smart issued his threat.
This is an unfortunate example of the political partisanship among Ghana’s private radio stations and media generally that is dividing the industry and adding fuel to the rancorous bickering among political forces in the country today.