Government bans ‘mallams and priests’ from broadcasting on TV – news reports
The National Media Commission has not banned ‘mallams’ and ‘fetish priests’ from broadcasting on television.
Claims that the National Media Commission (NMC) has banned traditional and Islamic religious personalities otherwise referred to as ‘fetish priests’ and ‘mallams’ respectively from actively engaging in broadcasting and advertising on television have been widespread.
Recently, social media and some mainstream media outlets like FoxFM Online, and dailymailafrica.com reported that the NMC has banned traditional religious personalities from advertising and broadcasting on television. This ban, according to the reports, is to commence on Friday, May 1.
The claim is said to be a directive from President Nana Akufo-Addo sent through a letter to the National Media Commission (NMC).
The National Media Commission (NMC) is a media regulatory institution responsible for registering, regulating and monitoring media activities in Ghana. As such, the Commission has oversight responsibility for the media and its contents. It is, therefore, not far-fetched that this claim is attributed to the commission.
In reaction, the NMC, however, says the news is fake. A press release issued on April 30 and signed by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, George Sarpong, stated that no such directive was given by his agency.
According to the press release, the constitution insulates the Commission from interference or control by government and other bodies in the performance of its functions. Therefore, it would be “unconstitutional” for the president to give such a directive to the commission.
Additionally, Mr Sarpong stated that the Commission’s Guidelines on Religious Broadcasting does not contain any provision empowering the agency to ban religious personalities from broadcasting on television.
The NMC has not been directed by the president to ban the religious broadcasts of ‘fetish priests’ and ‘mallams’ on television. Citizens are advised to disregard this piece of fake news.