From left: Stonebwoy, Emmanuel Asigri (middle), Shatta Wale
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Emmanuel Asigri, has called on the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to lawfully deal with perpetrators of the recent chaos at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
Speaking through a statement on Monday, he underscored that “no one is above the law. The police must deal ruthlessly with perpetrators of the incident to serve as deterrents to other players in the entertainment front who might want to take the peace of this country for granted.”
“Violence has no place in Ghana’s entertainment space,” he added and condemned two of Ghana’s biggest rival dancehall artistes‒ Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy‒ who were directly involved in the chaos.
A scuffle broke out on the VGMA stage last Sunday at the Dome of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) after Shatta Wale and his ‘militants’ rushed on stage when Stonebwoy was about to give his acceptance speech for winning the reggae/dancehall artiste of the year category.
The confrontation resulted in Stonebwoy pulling out a handgun in self-defence. The incident triggered some high-level officials, diplomats and celebrities to leave the event for the fear of their lives.
The NYA boss described the incident as “unfortunate.”
“Many expected the two musicians to have exhibited good conduct worthy of emulation by young people in view of the large and strong following they command in the Ghanaian entertainment front,” Mr. Asigri stated.
He revealed that Charterhouse should have guaranteed the welfare of patrons for the night “by putting in place the appropriate preventive security measures in anticipation of such occurrences, especially when they are fully aware of the rivalry existing between these two artistes.”
The NYA boss added, “We count ourselves lucky that this incident did not degenerate into a stampede where lives of patrons would have been put in jeopardy. In the midst of the prevailing security situation in the West Africa sub-region relative to suspicious terror activities, we call on the youth of Ghana to stand up and defend the integrity of the country by conducting themselves in a disciplined, patriotic and nationalistic manner, as well as resisting any negative influence from these two musicians or any other person or group. The youth must send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that; acts or threats of violence of any kind have no place in the entertainment front of the country.”
By Francis Addo