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Oyerepa FM resolves impasse with Kumasi Traditional Council over Odike comment

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong and Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
Oyerepa FM resolves impasse with Kumasi Traditional Council over Odike comment
Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante in a handshake with Baffour Owusu Amankwatiah VI, Bantamahene

The impasse between the Kumasi Traditional Council and Oyerapa FM in relation to comments made by the founder of United Progressive Party (UPP) and businessman, Akwasi Addae Odike on their airwaves has been resolved.

The managers of the radio station led by clergymen from the Methodist Church were at Manhyia Palace on Monday with an apology.

Also at the Manhyia Palace to meet the Kumasi Traditional Council over the issue was the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

After deliberations, an apology from managers of Oyerepa FM was accepted by the chiefs.

This paves the way for the radio station to resume operations after it suspended it last Friday as a show of good faith following an advise by the traditional council for the managers to do so to show remorse.


Founder of United Progressive Party (UPP) and businessman, Akwasi Addae Odike had made some comments during a radio discussion programme on Oyerepa FM.

The chiefs saw that as an attack on their integrity and said Odike was inciting the youth against the chiefs.

Besides. they accused the radio station of providing a platform for Akwasi Addai to slight traditional leaders in the region and the Asantehene.

Odike himself has been summoned to the Manhyia Palace but he was yet to respond to that invitation.

Following from that, managers of the radio station attended a Kumasi Traditional Council meeting last Thursday to apologise for allowing their airwaves to be used by Odike for those comments.

But the chiefs said the posture of the radio station was not indicative of a show of remorse and therefore advised the managers to retreat, show remorse by suspending operations, and approach the council on Monday with a meaningful apology.

The council was again of the view that the management did not take the issue seriously as it attended the meeting without a renowned person leading them to plead.

From Kumasi, Graphic Online's Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor, who was at the meeting of the Traditional Council reports that the management of the radio station attended the Manhyia meeting on Monday with a retinue of high profiled men of God including the Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana (MCG) and the chief of Asokore-Mampong, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah, who was represented by the Adwumakaasekesehene, Nana Asenso Akuffo Ababio.

Other clergy men in the delegation were Rt Rev Stephen K. Owusu, Kumasi Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Stephen Bosomtwe Ayensu, former Obuasi Diocesan Bishop and Rt Rev Nuh Ben Abubakr, former Kumasi Diocessan Bishop all from the Methodist Church of Ghana and Rev Dr Douglas Frempong from the Christians Outreach Ministries and Apostle Emmanuel Nuakoh.

Other members of the delegation included the owner of the station, Emmanuel Agyemang and the General Manager, "Sometimer" Otuo Boadaa Acheampong.

The station also pledged to henceforth have a conference with all guests on the radio to listen to their views before allowing them to go on air.

Go and sin no more

The acting president of the council, Bantamahene Baffour Asare Owusu Amankwatia VI, asked the station to resume operations and urged it to be guided by what happened and learn from it.

He said the delegation that accompanied the management team to the council meeting was such that the council could not refuse to listen to their plea and coupled with the fact that the management complied with the suggestion from the council to suspend operations until the matter was resolved.

Blame

The Bantamahene said the traditional council faulted the station for what happened because it believed the host and the producers could have stopped or prevented their guest from uttering such words on their platform.

According to him, as an owner of a radio station himself, he was abreast with the operations of the radio stations and such programmes, and therefore believed that a responsible radio station would not allow such a thing to occur.

He advised the radio stations and the media in general to be guided by what has happened in the management of the media and what they allow onto their airwaves.

He said the media have treated chiefs with disdain for far too long and it was time the chiefs restored their respect.

According to him, chiefs do not control the mineral resources in the country.

He said chiefs are signatories to the allocation of the mining concessions or the licence for prospecting and wondered why they should be blamed for something that the government was responsible for.

He said it was suspected that Odike deliberately brought in the chiefs and tried to instigate the youth against them for other reasons.

GJA

Also present at the meeting was a delegation of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) led by president Albert Kwabena Dwumfuor, Ransford Tetteh, former GJA president and Rebecca Ekpe, Public Affairs Officer of GJA.

The delegation earlier held a closed door meeting with the Bantamahene, all geared towards resolving the impasse between Oyerepa FM and the chiefs.

Background

Earlier this month, the founder of the political party, UPP, Akwasi Addai Odike appeared on Oyerepa FM where he said chiefs were involved in illegal mining in the country.

He also threatened to organise youth in the region to demonstrate against the chiefs to ask them to stop the illegal mining which was destroying water bodies and forest reserves in the region.

This accusation did not go down well with the chiefs who slaughtered a ram to perform a ritual to banish Odike from Manhyia.

Subsequent to that some unidentified men also attacked the party office of UPP at Patasi where some of the staff were alleged to have been molested and vehicles vandalised.

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