The Ada Traditional Council has justified the decision to bar journalists from community radio station Radio Ada from covering the just-ended Asafotufiami festival.
The Asafotufiami Festival Planning Committee in an August 1 letter to the management of Radio Ada said the station was barred from mounting a stage at the festival grounds (Ada Asafotufiami Park) and the Chiefs would also not grant interviews to their journalists.
The letter added that three journalists; Noah Dameh, Serwah Warri and Amanor Dzeagu who are hosts of programmes on the station were not to be seen at the park in Radio Ada paraphernalia for allegedly using unrefined language towards some Chiefs.
The Deputy Station Coordinator of Radio Ada, Mr. Noah Narh Dameh, said the station was barred from covering the festival because the Chiefs were unhappy about how the leasing of the Songhor Lagoon to an investor for the mining of salt was discussed on the station.
"They said even if we want to talk about, make any programme on the Songhor Lagoon or read any document we shouldn't add Nene, the Paramount chief's name and we told them we couldn't do that because it is a document and we cannot read and jump someone who signed the document's name," Mr Dameh said in an interview on Joy FM.
The Mankralo of the Ada State, Nene Agudey Obichere, who is also the Chairman of the 2022 Asafotufiami Festival Planning Committee, said the decision to bar Radio Ada was informed by "the constant attacks and unrefined language directed to the Traditional Council by journalists of Radio Ada".
"Okay, so press freedom says that we should insult our chiefs? If we have an issue to talk about, you can talk about it without insulting.
"If you feel so strongly about an issue, it's not a problem that you must say it but if you use the language that is unrefined about your chiefs, what do you expect to happen?"