17 September 2018

Liberia: PYJ Warns Community Radios Against 'Castigation'

Sen Johnson (R) and Representative Johnson Gwaikolo at the occasion.

Senator Prince Y. Johnson (PYJ) of Nimba County has warned community radio stations in the county to "stop castigating" their leaders as well as allowing critics to use their stations to assassinate the characters of their leaders.

Senator Johnson, who spoke at the close of the County Council Sitting on September 2, urged local reporters and station managers to show love to their beloved county, Nimba, and stop the attitude of using their stations to castigate their leaders and bring them to public disrepute, saying, "If you don't love me, love your county."

Nimba County Community Radio Association has always been in the budget of the County Council Sitting, which has enabled the association to carry on the construction of a media center in Sanniquellie City. In the just concluded County Sitting, the amount of US$30,000 was allotted for the community radio association (NICORA) for the continuation of the construction of its media center, making it a total of US$90,000 from the county.

There are about 13 community radio stations in Nimba, with at least 10 actively functioning.

In 2014, NICORA embarked on the construction of media centers as a means of improving communication channels with communities where students and well-meaning people can go to do research.

But local radio stations have come under criticisms from politicians, who say the stations castigate them or allow their opponents or critics to lash out at them, and without any regard to their portfolio.

During the course of the 2017 election, the Liberty Party (LP) branch of Truth FM in Saclapea refused to allow other politicians to air campaign messages, after the LP alleged that Radio Saclepea was not giving it enough air time as compared to the Unity Party (UP).

In the same direction, the All Liberian Party (ALP) of Mr. Benoni Urey opened Radio Slehtowah in Ganta as a means of speeding up his campaign messages because most of the other stations were accused of taking sides with various political parties as well as politicians.

And due to the proliferation of the radio stations, Sen. Johnson stressed Nimba's unity, arguing that any hate message could lead to disunity and confusion, something he wants the stations to desist from doing.

Authors

Ishmael F. Menkor

Liberia

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