Gov’t Shuts Down Bamenda Independant Radio in the Face of an Anglophone Crisis

 

 

One of Bamenda’s leading independant radio stations, Radio Hot Cocoa has been temporarily shut down by the administration of Mezam. This follows a regional order N0 001/AR/SDG/SG/DAAJ of 10th January 2017, signed by the prefect of Mezam, Songa Pierre Rene.

Hot Cocoa was sealed about the hours of 4 and 4:30 pm on Tuesday January 10th 2017 as the program “Tory Time” a popular pidgin news magazine presented by Mac Chi was on air. The order presumably from the Governor of the Northwest was executed by the SDO accompanied by Itoe Peter Mbongo, DO for Bamenda II in the presence of security officials.

According to authorities of Radio Hot Cocoa, the radio was taken off air because it had defiled professional norms and not because it gave a voice to the striking teachers and lawyers as it was purported in some quarters. Rumours had also spread that the presenter, Mac Chi had been arrested but this was found not to be true and he is safe and free.

The Manager of Radio Hot Cocoa Gideon Taka responding to the temporary closure of the radio on a popular Whatsapps group for journalists in Bamenda (MPB) opined that “I affirm here that the Governor acted in his right to bring order where it is right to be” he goes further to plead with media men and women not to make an issue out of it.

” I am happy this house is mature and has handled the matter with professional tact … Here I plead we minimize any exchanges on this matter so as not to manure any degeneration.  I count on your understanding and necessary assistance when and where it is deemed feasible”  the statement added.

Meanwhile the exact reasons for closing the radio have not been officially stated. This is the second time the administration of Mezam is shutting down a radio station. On April 22, 2013, the then SDO of Mezam Felix Nguele Nguele  on the instruction of the minister of Communication ordered the closure of Foundation Radio Bamenda on grounds of broadcasting an interview with the SCNC secessionist  movement. The radio was subsequently reopened after a lengthy struggle and pressure from the International Committee to Protect Journalists (ICJ) New York.

By Pedmia Shatu in Bamenda

Gov't seal on the doors of Radio Hot Cocoa

Gov't seal on the doors of Radio Hot Cocoa

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