Manhyia Shuts Down Oyerepa FM

THE MANHYIA Palace, the seat of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has ordered the management of Oyerepa FM in Kumasi to stop operations, starting from today.

Before going off the airwaves, the station has also been asked to render unqualified apologies to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the entire Asanteman on their network by close of yesterday.

The order was issued during an emergency Traditional Council Meeting at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi yesterday, which was chaired by Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia, the Bantamahene.

The under-fire radio station, as a reminder, suffered their fate because they offered their platform to Akwasi Addai nicknamed ‘Odike’, an outspoken politician, to utter some unprintable words against the Asante King.

Odike, the United Progressive Party (UPP) founder and leader, has been in the news for negative reasons in recent times after he was banished from Asanteman over his alleged ‘bad’ comments against Otumfuo.

The chiefs in Asanteman found him (Odike) guilty of passing those unpalatable words against Otumfuo in the studios of Oyerepa FM, hence their decision to crack the whip on him in the form of banishment few days ago.

Significantly, the Asante chiefs’ decision to banish Odike and also shut down Oyerepa FM has happened in the absence of the Asantehene, who is currently outside the country.

Reading the verdict at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi yesterday, Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia, who chaired the traditional court sitting, said Oyerepa FM is guilty for allowing Odike to use its platform to misbehave.

According to him, the management and the Morning Show crew of Oyerepa FM, who were present in the palace on Thursday, also didn’t show any sign that suggested that indeed they were sorry for the incident.

“As you stand here before me today, I don’t see anything that suggests that you feel remorse over what has happened in your studios, therefore you have to go back and come back to meet Nananom again later on.

“Hopefully, in your next appearance here, you will show clear signs that indeed you are sorry for whatever happened in your studios. But prior to that, you have to go off the airwaves until further notice.

“Also, you are mandated to go to your studios today (Thursday) and render unqualified apologies to Nananom, before you finally go off air, starting from Friday, until the case has been determined,” he stated.

The Bantamahene, who also owns a radio station in Kumasi, said radio stations always have a conference ahead of their programmes, so he was sure Oyerepa FM staff had prior knowledge of what Odike was about to say.

Meanwhile, before the Bantamahene read his verdict, the various divisional heads in the Manhyia Palace had slammed Oyerepa FM management and staff for stooping low by allowing Odike to use their network to misbehave.

According to the chiefs, most of whom are intellectuals, the Oyerepa FM staff did not uphold the standard of journalistic ethics on the day in question, reasons Odike had a field’s day to misbehave live on air.

In a related development, Odike, was not present at the palace yesterday. Sources said the chiefs, after slaughtering a ram to banish Odike, would not have anything to do with him again.

FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi