- Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has thrown his full support behind the GJA's decision to blackout MPs who attack journalists
- He says while the action may not be effective, it will serve as a deterrence for politicians
- He has called for law enforcement agencies to play their part in ensuring erring politicians are brought to book
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is the latest to back the Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) decision to blackout politicians who attack journalists.
On JoyNews’ PM Express, the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi said the move was an important tool to bring attention to the plight of journalists and hopefully push law enforcers to act swiftly for justice to be served.
He was also hopeful the blackout would deter other politicians from meting out violence against journalists during their course of work.
His comment comes back to criticism from the National Media Commission’s (NMC) Chairman, Yaw Baodu Ayeboafo, that the blackout was dysfunctional and unproductive.
Speaking at a GJA event, the NMC chair urged the media practitioners to seek redress through other legal means instead of the media blackout.
This did not go down well with the GJA president, Albert Dwumfuor, who expressed utter disappointment in the comments passed by the NMC chair.
Oppong Nkrumah believes the GJA is right
Reacting to the exchanges, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah believes the GJA took the right decision.
“So yes, I 100% support this as a tool. It will not be effective, but at least it will draw full attention. But what we need to do is to have some clear guidelines on when it is deployed to avoid grey areas. Then we secondly have to ensure that the [inaudible] of state who can deal with it i.e. both the police and the judicial service are held accountable for it,” he said.
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He noted that the government and media stakeholders are working together to ensure that such incidents are prioritised to deter their recurrence.
“When we consistently hold the police and the judicial service accountable, I know the IGP is interested, I know the Chief Justice is interested, we’ll get to that point where no police command or police officer can then play hanky panky with these reports as they come to them,” he said.
NMC Chair fights back against criticisms
Meanwhile, Mr Ayeboafo has been seriously criticised for his comments concerning the media blackout.
But the NMC chair says he will not be bullied into backing down from what he views as his rightful opinion on the matter.
“The fact that I am a senior journalist, as the GJA admitted, is that I should have an independent opinion. And that does not necessarily mean following whatever position the GJA comes up with. If I do not agree with the position of the GJA that does not render me a mole; it does not render me useless in the system because I’m not supposed to mimic anybody,” he said.
MP assaults reporter
Earlier, YEN.com.gh reported that a Citi FM reporter was allegedly assaulted by the Member of Parliament for Yendi, Farouk Aliu Mahama, during the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primary on Saturday, January 27, 2024.
The reporter, Mohammed Aminu M. Alabira, was assaulted during the counting of the ballots.
According to the reporter, he was slapped from behind by Mahama and was subsequently beaten by members of the MP’s entourage.
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