‘We Will Not Take Threat Lightly’ – Sen. Dillon Says Station Has Already Taken Position -Lafayette Gould: Threat Against D.15 Is Unconstitutional
By: Rancy S. Teewia
Amidst the hullabaloo concerning government’s threat against hosting a pro-opposition radical Henry Costa’s show on the Radio Bushrod otherwise referred to as D. 15 FM 98.1 a legal representative of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Atty. Lafayette Gould has described the threat by the Government of Liberia against Mr. Costa as an “act of gangsterism and a violation of Costa’s right to free speech as enshrine in Article 15(a), (b) and (c ) of the Liberian constitution, while the Chairman of the Board of Radio Bushrod, Montserrado County Senator Darius Dillon promised that the threat by government will not be taken lightly.
Speaking to the OK FM Morning Ride via mobile phone on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, Atty. Gould emphasized that calling Mr. Costa a “fugitive” and threating to shut down the Radio station should station relay the talkshow of Mr. Henry Costa is completely out of place and signifies as well an act of gangsterism.
The OK FM Morning Show on which Atty. Gould made the remarks was co-hosted by the publisher of Public Trust Newspaper, Mr. Frank B. Sainworla, and Media Trainer and Publisher of Inquirer Newspaper, Atty. Phillip Wesseh.
The two journalists were analyzing the government’s threats against Costa and the D. 15 Radio, FM 98, 1, while at the same time condemning the threat by the Government. Gould, who is also the spokesman of the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) said it is astonishing for the government to described Mr. Costa as “a fugitive”, adding that Mr. Costa was not indicted or found guilty of any crime when he left the country.
Costa, the fearless political commentator and Chairman of the Council of Patriots (COP), an opposition advocacy group, fled the country after the government accused him of using fake traveling documents to enter Liberia from the United States where he had gone to study. The accusation was preceded by the closure of his Roots FM, on which he hosted his “Costa Show”, a talk-show highly critical of the performance of the government and is therefore acclaimed.
Why in exile, he has been hosting his “Costa show” on his Facebook Page named and style “The Costa Show,” which has thousands of Liberians at home and abroad visiting it. Costa is now engaging Radio Bushrod (D.15 Radio FM 98.1) to relay the show to Liberian audience, a reason for which the station is being threatened with closure for announcing that it will host the “Costa Show”
Also speaking on the OK Morning Show, Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon said, considered the attempt by the government to stop the airing of the Costa Show as an intrusion on the right of Mr. Costa to free speech as prescribed by the constitution.
The tough-talking Senator also urged the Government to conduct themselves responsibly, in handling the situation.
He said the management of Radio Bushrod will decide after the 72 hours given to the government whether Mr. Henry Costa will be allowed to air the most famous Costa Show or not.
The Montserrado County Senator and Board Chairman of Radio Bustrod furthered that the Station has reached an agreement with Mr. Henry Costa that invectives and chaotic speeches will not be allowed on their airwaves.
“Before Mr. Costa made public this information, we have reached an agreement that we will not accept invectives and chaotic speeches on our radio.”
Besides, Dillon indicated, “When we went to the meeting on Monday, we told the Minister of information – Mr. Ledgerhood Rennie that we have already told Costa to avoid invectives and chaotic speeches,” adding that but authorities at the Ministry are insisting on preventing us from hosting the show; and we will not take this issue lightly.”
Over the weekend, Mr. Henry P. Costa posted on his social media page informing the General public that the Popular Costa Show will be relayed by Radio Bushrod commonly known as D15 FM belonging to the late Representative Adolph A. Lawrence of District #15 Montserrado County.
The post by Costa on the Facebook triggered the controversy, and prompted the government through the Ministry of information to issue a public statement that Mr. Henry Costa is a fugitive and if allow on any radio station, that station will be shutdown.