The Nimba Community Radio Association (NICORA) has imposed an immediate media blackout on Nimba County Senator, Prince Y. Johnson for alleged violent act that was carried out by the Senator’s men, during which time a Talk-Show on radio Voice of Gompa was disrupted.
A release issued by NICORA indicated that the ban on Senator Johnson is also based on the incident which occurred in May at which time a group of people from Senator Prince Johnson’s office also allegedly stormed Radio Voice of Gompa and flogged LBS’ Nimba County Correspondent, Franklin Doloquee, thereby taking away his recorder, camera, mobile phones, and cash.
According to NICORA, the media blackout has been placed on the activities of Senator Johnson and his men, and all his associated groups until the Senator can see reasons to responsibly and reasonably address the Franklin Doloquee and Voice of Gompa issue.
The media group has also urged all community radio stations not to broadcast anything related to Senator Johnson’s activities, including the broadcasting of text messages and other communications.
NICORA leadership expressed disappointment that since the incident, they have made several attempts to contact Senator Johnson’s office to address the situation but all to no avail as they have been ignored by the Senator and his men.
The group complained that all that they have received from the senator’s office is inconsistence of denials, justifications and threats. The leadership of NICORA says the situation is a grave infringement on press freedom and the freedom of expression as enshrined in the Liberian Constitution.
“We are now compelled to act and protect our media practitioners and institutions, because if we do not act now we are afraid other politicians will soon follow suit,” the release stated.
In a related development, NICORA says it is taken aback by the lack of action by the Liberia National Police to bring to justice the men from Senator Johnson’s office including Wilfred Bangura, Moses Ziah, and the Senator’s driver who stormed Radio Voice of Gompa the night of May 20, 2014 and caused the mayhem.
The Nimba County media group said it believes that every sector of the society must enjoy equal protection of the law and no one must therefore be treated with indifference.
The journalists pointed out that immediately after the incident occurred, a complaint was filed in to the Liberia National Police (LNP) but it is over two weeks and the LNP is yet to take the necessary action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“If a highly publicized crime commission is being treated with such degree of indifference, then where are we heading with our justice system?” the media group wondered.
The group is therefore calling on the Ministry of Justice to intervene and bring to justice the alleged perpetrators who stormed Radio Voice of Gompa and flogged Journalist Franklin Doloquee on that fateful night.