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A/R: Asante Akyem-Agogo Traditional Council Pleads for Reopening of Salt FM Amid Political Controversy

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In a recent plea to the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the government, the Asante Akyem-Agogo Traditional Council called for the reopening of Salt 95.9 FM, a radio station situated in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

The station, which was abruptly shut down on February 6th, 2024, has sparked controversy, with allegations of political motives behind its closure.

The NCA, accompanied by security officers, cited the station’s non-renewal of authorization as the reason for its closure.

However, local leaders, including Nana Kwame Boakye Yiadom, the Asante Akyem-Agogo Ankobeahene, believe otherwise.

According to them, the shutdown is politically motivated due to the CEO of Salt Media Group, Ohene Kwame Frimpong’s intention to run as an Independent Parliamentary Candidate for Asante Akyem North.

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“Salt FM played a vital role in connecting with rural communities, particularly in Agogo, where mobile network issues hinder communication.

“The shutting down of the station has made it challenging for us to disseminate information to these remote areas, where radio remains a primary source of news and entertainment,” he said.

Moreover, the closure of Salt FM has affected the livelihoods of over 50 individuals employed by the station, according to Nana Amoako Gyampa, the Asante Akyem-Hwidiem Sompahene.

“With limited employment opportunities in this area, the station served as a significant source of income for many youths.

“Salt FM alone has provided employment opportunities for over 50 youths.

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“With its sudden closure, the fate of these individuals hangs in the balance.

“We earnestly appeal to the NCA and other relevant authorities to reconsider and reopen the station, as this decision directly impacts the livelihoods of our community members,” Nana Sompahene pleaded.

The Asante Akyem-Agogo Traditional Council’s plea underscores the importance of Salt FM to the community’s social and economic fabric.

Beyond its role as a communication medium, the station served as a platform for local voices and cultural expression.

The council’s representatives have called for a reconsideration of the shutdown, arguing that it not only stifles freedom of speech but also deprives the community of essential services.

They highlight that, upon investigation, there were no outstanding debts owed to the NCA by Salt FM, further questioning the rationale behind the abrupt closure.

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In light of these concerns, the council urges the NCA and relevant authorities to reopen Salt FM without delay.

They emphasize the station’s significance in fostering community cohesion, providing employment opportunities, and facilitating access to information in underserved areas.

The closure of Salt FM has ignited a broader conversation about media freedom and political interference in Ghana’s democratic process.

As stakeholders continue to advocate for the station’s reopening, the case of Salt FM serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by independent media outlets in navigating political pressures while serving their communities.

 

 

Nana Yaw Owusu/Ashanti Region.

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