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Hamat urges government to reopen Teranga FM

Sep 18, 2012, 12:44 PM

Opposition leader Hamat Bah of the National Reconciliation Party has called on the government to reopen Teranga FM, a commercial radio station based in Sinchu Alagie village in the West Coast Region of The Gambia.

Teranga FM radio station was ordered to cease operations for the second time after officers in plainclothes visited the station, on the night of 16th August 2012.

Established in 2009, the radio station has generated a lot of attention from the public most of whom rely on it to get news, which is normally reviewed from the independent press and broadcast in the three main local languages, Wollof, Mandinka and Fula.

Speaking in an interview with The Point, Bah said it was rather unfortunate that Teranga FM was closed without due regard and due process.

“That is not the way to close a company; we have rules governing the closure of a company and if the radio station has violated some rules or done something against the law, the authorities should write to them and give them the chance to reply to those allegations or whatever wrong you believe they committed; if they fail to do that, you take them to court and ask the court for closure,” Bah said.

According to him, Teranga FM should not be allowed to fall in the fate of Citizen FM radio.

“Let them reopen the radio station and allow them to work. We are in a democracy, and no one should take the law into his or her own hands and just call on people to tell them to close up; this is wrong, let’s go by the rule of law,” Bah told The Point.

“The authorities should have gone to court to seek for the court to close the place and let those people defend themselves; that would have been more acceptable because, with that, the authorities will be going through due process,” he added.

Noting that this is in accordance with the Constitution and freedom of expression, Bah said The Gambia should concentrate on national development and how to increase our investment portfolio outside this country.

“We should concentrate on how we improve our governance system, and how to get people the freedom and liberty that is due to them, so that each and every one of us will know what to do and move ahead,” he stated.

“Why close a radio station? If they have done something wrong, take them to court and let the court decide. This is more appropriate,” he remarked.