MFWA: Threats to Kessben FM journalists worrying, police should investigate

The MFWA is worried about recent serious threats on the lives of three journalists of the Kumasi-based radio station, Kessben FM. The threats follow a discussion programme on the station on September 9, 2013, during which certain defamatory comments were made against the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The General Manager of the radio station, Andrew Danso-Aninkora, confirmed to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) that three journalists have received threatening text messages from unknown persons.

The three journalists who have received life threatening text messages are Omanhene Yaw Adu Boakye, Programmes Manager, Confidence K. Badu, Deputy News Editor and Ali Baba Dankabari, Newscaster.

The General Manager confirmed a news report in the September 17 edition of the Daily Guide newspaper, that both Adu Boakye and Ali Baba received a message from phone number +233266264462 which read: “The programme on your FM, breaking news, is good. The next news will be the murder of the three of you. Do you remember the killing of a journalist in Kumasi some years back? Get ready. We will get you at dawn or noon. You can say you don’t care but trust us. It’s just a matter of time. You people think you can joke with Otumfuo. It’s just a matter of time. Do you remember the death of some journalists? Call it a bluff.”

Confidence Badu, also received a message from phone number +2335466572 which read “Your breaking news will break the death of you people. You think you can joke with Otumfuo. It’s just a matter of time.”

Remembering the unfortunate death of Mr. Samuel Ennin, a former President of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), who was shot and killed on February 9, 2007 by unknown assailants, the seriousness of the recent threats on the three journalists cannot be downplayed.

The MFWA, therefore, calls on the Ashanti regional Police Command to thoroughly investigate the threats and also offer protection to the journalists.

While we condemn the broadcast of the defamatory content by the station, we wish to commend the Asanteman Traditional Council for resorting to the most appropriate redress mechanism of filing a complaint before the National Media Commission (NMC), the statutory media regulator.

For more information please contact:
Kwame Karikari (Prof)
Executive Director
Tel: 233-0302-24 24 70
Fax: 233-0302-22 10 84

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