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North Star radio station attacked by ruling party sympathisers

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 9 June 2010, the management of North Star, a privately-owned radio station in Tamale, capital of the Northern region of Ghana, suspended indefinitely members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) from participating in the station's programmes.

According to North Star management, the suspension was intended to protect the station from frequent attacks by persons they believed to be sympathizers of the NDC.

The director of North Star, Adams Cockra, told Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) that the first attack occurred on 8 June after a newspaper review programme that discussed a demonstration by a faction in an ethnic conflict.

Two royal families in Northern Ghana, the Abudu and Andani, have been embroiled in a longstanding feud that has divided the two clans across the main political parties in Ghana. North Star is owned by Alhaji Aliu Mahama, an Abudu and a former Vice President in Ghana during the last administration of Ex-President John Kufuor.

Cockra alleged that an NDC panelist incited the Andanis against the station during the programme, a situation which led to an abrupt end of the programme.

The assailants reportedly attacked the station again on 9 June, resulting in destruction of the glass windows of the station.

Reacting to the allegations, Tanko Computer, northern regional operations director of the NDC, distanced the party from the attack, saying their party does not support violence. He said they had met with the station's management and would also conduct their own investigations into the matter.

In an interview with the Metropolitan Police Commander, ASP Caesar Abanga, he confirmed the attack but said they were unable to blame any particular group because the complainants are not cooperating in the investigations. Cockra has, however, dismissed the assertion of the police.

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