National Youth Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Salam Mustapha, has confirmed that the individuals who stormed the studios of United Television in Accra during its popular live entertainment show are indeed affiliated with the party.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s show, Ekosiisen, on Monday, October 9, Mr Mustapha openly acknowledged their connection to the NPP but clarified that the party did not endorse or support the actions of these young men, who included constituency youth organizers and a Deputy Greater Accra Youth Organiser.
“OB, I can’t be on this platform and claim that I don’t know them. All those in the video I know them. And I can confirm that some of them are constituency youth organisers, and one is a Deputy Regional Youth Organiser [Greater Accra]. They are my guys that I work with, and so I cannot deny their bona fide membership of the New Patriotic Party. As for that, I cannot lie on this platform. They’re NPP members that I work with, and I can state emphatically that I know them” he noted.
“OB, truthfully I wasn’t in the know of the action these young guys took. I only had a call when the incident happened, and when I asked they explained what transpired.”
“It was not a premeditated plan that we sat and agreed on. That’s not the case”, adding that, “As the National Youth Organiser, I take full responsibility for what happened. They are my guys who went to conduct themselves inappropriately.”
A group affiliated with the NPP stormed the UTV studios during the live broadcast of its entertainment program, United Showbiz last Saturday, October 7, 2023, shortly after it commenced.
The show then abruptly went off air while commercials filled the screen. The group trooped in to demand the removal of musician Kwame A-Plus, from the programme for tearing up a letter said to be from the Communication wing of the NPP.
Videos of the incident went viral on social media with many condemning the intrusion, while others questioned the state of security at the media house.
Hours later, the Police in a statement announced that it had arrested 16 persons involved in the incident. Subsequently, institutions such as the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the National Media Commission (NMC) condemned the attacked, noting that free expression and freedom of the media must be fiercely protected.
According to the GJA, some individuals managed to escape as “30 hooligans attacked the studios of the Accra-based private television station”.
In response to the brouhaha, the leadership of the New Patriotic Party has rendered an apology to UTV, noting that it would cooperate with the police to investigate the matter.
Director of Communications for the NPP, Richard Ahiagbah, who engaged the press noted that the party did not sanction anyone to go and disrupt the United Showbiz programme.
He is quoted to have said “We think that the attack is unacceptable, and it’s condemnable.”