Some persons believed to be affiliated with the governing New Patriotic Party stormed the studio of Accra-based United Television (UTV) on Saturday, October 7, 2023.
These persons disrupted the live late-night entertainment show of the station, ‘United Showbiz’ on Saturday. The live show was halted for several minutes before the police arrived to restore normalcy.
The police have so far arrested 16 suspects in connection with the invasion.
Many stakeholders have condemned the attack including the Ministry of Information, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC).
The youth who were captured on video demanding to be part of the programme claiming that it has been turned into a political show.
They described as distasteful previous comments by some of the panellists that sought to put the Akufo-Addo/Dr Bawumia’s government in a bad light.
They claimed to have invaded the studio to demand an unqualified apology from A Plus, a musician and political activist, for allegedly tearing a copy of a letter addressed to the management of UTV to streamline the show.
The NPP supporters later occupied the seats which were originally occupied by the guests demanding the whereabouts of A Plus.
One of their leaders said, “A Plus sat here and tore our document from our party [NPP] that seeks to streamline the show, that is our party property, we need him to render an unqualified apology. They cannot be sitting here and doing politics.
some scenes from the invasion
We know this programme is supposed to be a showbiz programme, personally, I love the programme, we enjoy it because it’s an entertainment programme. But recently, we have realised that it’s turning from an entertainment programme to a strict political programme, and we have seen that there are so many NDC people on the show, but we are not finding an NPP person.”
“We saw what the former hostess Nana Ama McBrown was doing, and it was quite fantastic. It is our constitutional right to protect our party. What A Plus did was a gross disrespect to our party. You have [through this programme] insulted our General Secretary Justin Kodua Frimpong, our President and his vice”.
After calm was restored, MzGee said, “We had some uninvited guests who came to disrupt our show, we didn’t plan to go on that long break, but we were forced to break due to the invasion. I’m sure you have seen some of the visuals online, we don’t know who they were and who sent them. Please forgive us for the break, but everyone is ok. This is an entertainment show, but some of our people in the creative arts joined the recent demonstrations, how can we not talk about it?”
“We don’t do politics, but when there’s a trending political issue which concerns members in the creative industry, we discuss it, because we also buy fuel, we pay tax. Members in the creative industry are also concerned with developmental issues in the country. If those in the creative arts talk about such political issues with entertainment linings, it doesn’t mean we are doing politics”.
Sonnie Badu, a gospel artiste who was supposed to be in the studio, narrated, “I was looking forward to being on United Showbiz, but we had a serious security alert, my team decided that we shouldn’t go in. We saw about 50 thugs invading the premises and attacked some of the workers and producers. One of the producers told us to leave the premises, I was hoping to be on the show but safety first, I’m so sorry, hopefully, one day I will get there. God bless you”.
The director of photography and one of the producers of the show were allegedly assaulted, while the hostess, MzGee and guests were said to have been traumatised in the process.