Armed with certificate of registration from the Independent Media Commission and application for space at Leicester Peak, SLPP’s Secretary General, Jacob Jusu Saffa, over the weekend told journalists at their party’s Wallace Johnson Street headquarters that the APC had shut down the SLPP radio.
He said the station, which was registered in August 2007 with the Independent Media Commission, was vandalised together by some unidentified elements on Mr Saffa further narrated that after they had made tremendously efforts to replace the stolen equipment with notification to IMC, SLBS and National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), in the evening of May 8th 2008 the station was reported to be off air. “I immediately contacted the minister of Information IB Kargbo on the development but he admitted instructing the SLBS engineers to shut it down on the grounds that it was interfering with other frequencies” he said.
He stated that they agreed to meet at the office of the minister on Friday May 9th to deliberate on the issue but on arrival there on the appointed date together with former Foreign Affairs minister Momodu Koroma and the presence of the P S and the deputy Minister Mohamed Koroma IB Kargbo repeated the same thing.
“The minister even dodged the issue and left in haste to pick up a flight to Cairo that morning even when the departure time was 6 PM” he maintained.
He added that the minister only directed them to his deputy and PS to handle the matter but the minister kept on dodging on the grounds that he would only intervene on an instruction from State House”. Meanwhile, State House issued a press release few hours after the SLPP scribe outburst claiming that the “SLPP Radio did not go through the right procedures in terms of registration, “ citing further that, “the Ministry of Information was not legally informed with regards to the operations of the radio.” The release further stated that, “the SLPP Radio went ahead to install an antenna across other antennas at Leicester Peak using private engineers without the knowledge of the Ministry of Information.”
It further stressed that the “said antenna caused disruption in the transmissions of existing radio stations.” According to the release, “those radio stations filed official complaints to the Ministry of Information, which caused government to intervene,” indicating further that, “some SLPP executives including Secretary General J.J. Saffa and former Presidential running mate Momodu Koroma had already been in discussion with the Ministry of Information officials as late as Friday about going through the official acceptable process.”
“Let it therefore be known that if the SLPP radio goes through the proper channels for its broadcast, then Government has no power to stop it or ban such broadcasts,” it stressed, nothing that government was a great respecter of the law and would not allow a group of people or any political party to flout the laid-down rules of this country or infringe on the rights of other people or institutions.
By Solomon Rogers