NPP: We did not sanction Saturday’s invasion at UTV studios

Numbering about 20, the irate youth delayed the airing of the popular show – United Showbiz – saying political activist A Plus, who is a regular pundit on the show, has shown gross disrespect to the NPP

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has distanced itself from the chaos that erupted in the studios of Accra-based TV network UTV Saturday evening, although the thugs identified with the party.

Numbering over 20, the irate youth delayed the airing of the popular show – United Showbiz – saying political activist A Plus, real name Kwame Obeng Asare, who is a regular pundit on the show, has shown gross disrespect to the NPP by tearing apart on set a letter from the party raising concerns about the show.

According to the NPP, the entertainment programme has become political.

A Plus, in reaction, said the letter was against the independence of the media and went on to rip his copy of the letter saying: “This letter is revolting because we have received calls from people threatening to collapse UTV United Showbiz,” reports Peacefmonline.com.

The leader of the group that invaded the studio on Saturday evening (7 October) said they want the popular highlife singer, A Plus, to apologise for his actions on air. The police picked up 16 individuals in the wake of the melee in the studios of the Despite Media Group.

Moments after the show began, the national communications director of the NPP Richard Ahiagbah entered appearance and condemned the act, adding the party did not sanction the pandemonium.

“I had a call from the producer of the show about what was happening,” Ahiagbah said on United Showbiz on Saturday (7 October). “So, I decided to come over myself to ascertain the situation. I want to officially state that the party has not given any directive to any group to come and invade your studios.”

“What happened was unfortunate. The NPP does not accept and condone violence. We’ll call on the police to carry out their investigations into the case,” Ahiagbah added.

NMC and Information Ministry react

Meanwhile, the National Media Commission (NMC) and the Information Ministry have condemned the studio invasion, calling on political actors to resort to the right channels to address their grievances.

“The commission is concerned about the increasing use of violence as the preferred method for addressing grievances against the media and journalists. Perpetrators of such crimes must realise that violence does not produce better journalism,” the NMC said in a statement issued on Sunday 8 October 2023.

“This is why the constitution provides anyone who feels aggrieved by the work of the media the opportunity to seek redress through the complaint settlement mechanism of the National Media Commission.

“As we approach the electioneering process for Ghana 2024, it is important for political actors and all Ghanaians to learn that the Ghana we envisage would not be built on the path of violent attacks on journalists,” the executive secretary of the NMC George Sarpong added.

For his part, the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said: “The right to free expression and the freedom of the media are key pillars of our democracy and must be fiercely protected. The ministry stands with the police and the courts in the conduct of their duties.”

“The ministry also encouraged the media, especially broadcast media show hosts and panellists, to do their utmost to help promote national cohesion even as they exercise their fundamental freedoms,” he added.


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