Alafnet.com is getting reports from Bamenda that Radio Hot Cocoa Suspension has been Lifted today Jan. 12,2017 by President of the National Communication Council, NCC Peter Essoka ,but the program Biggest Breakfast Show’ is still under suspension till further notice according to Prince Nfor Hanson of Radio Equinoxe in Bamenda.
Mr. Esoka’s visit to Bamenda comes on the heels of the closure of community radio called Hot Cocoa Radio FM 94.0 by The SDO for Mazam .The SDO claimed that the local radio was broadcasting information to incite violence through its interactive program called the ‘Biggest Breakfast Show’.
In a statement Yesterday station manager of Radio Hot Cocoa Mr. Gideon Taka said “Right now there is no access to my office, the studio and control room,” “They sealed them off.”The station proclaimed a “news blackout” on its Facebook page yesterday.
photo of radio 94 Fm Bamenda sealed door.
According to the Committee Protect Journalists (CPJ),the suspension of Radio Hot Cocoa is part of an ongoing effort to stifle coverage of the grievances of English-speaking Cameroonians’, and pressure has been mounting for Cameroonian authorities to immediately reverse a decision to suspend independent broadcaster Radio 94 FM’s permission to operate and allow the station to resume broadcasting immediately.
West Cameroonians have in recent months staged street demonstrations, strikes, and sit-ins to protest what they say is the Francophone central government’s marginalization of their regions for 54 years now.
In December ,2016 , Communications minister ,Issa Tchiroma Barkary wrote to private radio and TV stations to “stop all roundtable discussions… concerning the current political atmosphere” in English-speaking regions of Cameroon. French and English are the official languages of the country, but predominantly Francophone regions are home to the majority of the population. At least four people were killed after police forcibly dispersed a December 8 demonstration in Bamenda, according to press reports and Amnesty International.
The suspension of Radio Hot Cocoa is the latest in a series of attempts to stifle reporting and commentary on the political crisis. Last month authorities suspended dozens of newspapers and broadcasters’ permission to operate; permanently banned three newspapers from publishing and their publishers from practicing journalism; and sanctioned dozens more journalists.
Mr Esoka will meet with news reporters in the city to discuss coverage of the ongoing Anglophone crisis without creating social unrest during his current visit to the capital of the North West region.
by Hillman Muntang
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