Some angry supporters of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC), who thronged the party’s headquarters on Thursday, are demanding the release of Montie FM’s Mugabe, and the two panelists who have been sentenced to four months in prison, or risk losing their votes in the December polls.
The supporters, numbering about 30, further called on President John Mahama to issue an executive order for the release of the three men.
The reaction by the supporters follows a condemnation by the leadership of the party.
In a statement signed by its National Chairman, Kofi Poturphy on Wednesday, the NDC said “it has learned with utter shock, disbelief and dismay, the jailing of a journalist and two Ghanaian citizens by the Supreme Court of Ghana after contempt proceedings.
In the view of the party, “This judgment sends an unfortunate impression about Ghana, its judiciary and severely dents our enviable reputation as a beacon of democracy on the African continent and beyond. The judgement also may undermine our position among countries with the freest media in the world.”
The three, host of the station’s ‘Pampaso’ political show, Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe, and the two panelists, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, were found guilty of contempt after threatening to kill judges of the Supreme Court during one of the discussions on the show.
A number of the irate party supporters who spoke to Citi News’ Franklin Badu Jnr on Thursday, echoed the sentiments of the likes of the Minster of Foreign Affairs, Hanna Tetteh, who has described the sentence as being too harsh and that the judges should have exhibited some leniency.
“In my view, the sentence is too harsh… it is as if we are putting some fear of God into the media.”
“We understand that the statement was not good at all. Look at the big people who have apologized for this. At least they should have also had sympathy,” one of the supporters said.
Supporters give Mahama 24 hour ultimatum
However, majority of the supporters toed the line of the lawyers for the trio, who have said they will petition President John Dramani Mahama to invoke his prerogative power of mercy for the three, whose sentencing they consider harsh.
Other supporters said:
“We are appealing to the President, he should do something because our lives are at risk. We can’t be campaigning for a party when we can be jailed. Then this year, if no Mugabe, no vote. We want to make it clear to NDC people… we are giving him only 24 hours. If not, no vote.”
“We want the President to do something about so that they bring the people back. As for Mugabe like this, he is fighting for the nation. We are pleading.”
“He should do something about this or we would not fight for him anymore. If he wants to be in power in 2016, he should release Mugabe because we get our information from Mugabe.