The Nation woke up to the news that tthe Roots FM 102.7, belonging to the most vulgar talkshow host of Liberia, Mr. Henry Petro Costa, was vandalised and radio station equipments stolen.
It was alleged that the gate to the radio station was broken into by criminals and two transmitters were stolen, one 500 watts and another 1000 watts.
Within no time, a Gofundme page was established to beg the public to donate towards getting the radio back on air. Social media has been buzzing with so many posts, with many having different views on the matter. Some stood with Mr. Costa, whilst others said the story is a lie.
The government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, has reacted to the allegation:
Monrovia, February 11, 2019: The government of Liberia has received with dismay reports of the vandalism of the facilities of Roots FM 102.7, a station owned and operated by vocal talkshow host Henry Costa. The incident is alleged to have taken place in the early hours of Monday, February 11, 2019 at the station’s Ashmun Street office in Monrovia. The government strongly condemns this and all acts of violence which target the fundamental tenet of our democracy, the press.
Therefore, an investigation into the incident has been commissioned; and the public – particularly members of the press – are urged to remain calm as every effort is being brought to bear in order to bring the culprits to justice.
The government reiterates its commitment to free speech and freedom of the press, which President George M. Weah again affirmed during his meeting in December with media managers. This disturbing act, which comes on the heels of the historic passage by the Liberian Senate of the K. Abdullai Kamara’s bill to decriminalize speech offenses, has no place in the new Liberia.
The station’s license was only recently renewed by the authorities, after it was suspended by the previous administration, with a commitment to create a secured environment for it and all others to operate. Hence, it’s disconcerting that some will opt to blemish the government’s democratic credentials by prematurely drawing attribution to it.
Eugene Lenn Nagbe