NPP Chairman Blay Petitioned Over Attacks On Journalists

NPP Chairman Blay Petitioned Over Attacks On Journalists

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), wants the National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, to help bring to book party activists who attacked some four journalists at the party headquarters late last year.

In a petition to Mr. Freddie Blay and copied to the IGP, MFWA urged the party to formally condemn the incident, apologize to the victims and punish the perpetrators.

Three journalists, including Citi FM’s Marie-Franz Fordjoe, and two others from TV3 and Ghanaweb, were assaulted by security guards at the NPP’s headquarters when they were covering a demonstration by some angry party members on December 21, 2017.

Following up on hints of an ongoing protest at the party’s national headquarters in Accra, the reporters headed there.

Upon their arrival, scores of the party’s members, numbering about 200 from the Ellembelle Constituency in the Western Region, had besieged the headquarters demanding a clean register ahead of the party’s internal elections in January 2018.

Whilst filming the happenings, they were attacked by about six well-built men who are security guards at the party’s head office.

GhanaWeb’s cameraman was slapped, thrown on the ground and kicked mercilessly by the ‘macho’ men.

When the issue was reported to the NPP Deputy General Secretary, Sam Payne upon his arrival at the scene, he retorted that, “no one asked him [the reporter] to come and film” and walked away.

The party is however yet to condemn or take action on the attack several weeks after the incident.

The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, Suleman Briamah, in the petition expressed disappointment with the leadership of the NPP for being silent over the issue.

“We are dismayed at the fact that despite these calls, your outfit has still not reacted to the wanton assault on the four journalists, 32 days after the incident. We consider this attitude to be unbecoming of the NPP which is one of the biggest political parties in Ghana and the ruling party.”

“It is important to note that the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, has recently condemned the attack on a member of the party, Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye DC, whereas no single word has been said about the attack on the journalists which happened much earlier. We are therefore petitioning you directly as the party’s leader to use your good offices to ensure that the party formally condemns the incident, renders apologies to the victims and punishes the perpetrators,” the petition added.

The MFWA further called on the party to take steps “to stump out the growing culture of impunity among the party’s supporters since its return to power in January 2017.”

Arrest NPP security men for attacking journalists – GJA

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) had earlier called on the leadership of the NPP to ensure that the culprits are brought to book .

The GJA, in a statement, vehemently condemned the attack and called for immediate action.

“We call on the leadership of the NPP to bring the culprits to book to demonstrate abhorrence of such dastardly act. The GJA expects that the NPP, as the ruling party and political tradition founded on the tenets of democracy, will whip its supporters into towing that philosophical line,” the statement added.

Below is the full petition from MFWA:
The National Chairman
New Patriotic Party
National Headquarters
Accra
Dear Sir,
Petition against Physical Assault on Journalists by Party Security Officers

On December 21, 2017, four journalists were physically attacked by some security officers manning your party’s Headquarters in Accra.

The four journalists from TV3, Citi FM and Ghanaweb.com were brutalised by the security guards for covering a protest at the premises of your party headquarters by some supporters of your party from the Ellembelle Constituency of the Western Region.

While filming the scene, TV3 cameraman, Godfred Tanam was slapped by the rampaging guards. Prince Afum, a TV3 reporter, was also attacked when he went to the aid of his colleague, Tanam. Ghanaweb.com reporter, Ebenezer Ackah was kicked on the ground after being slapped and violently pushed down. A reporter from Citi FM, Marie-Franz Fordjoe, who was filming the scene with her mobile phone, was pulled away by her braids and slapped in the face by the guards.

The attack was widely reported by the media and condemned by various individuals and organisations including MFWA and the GJA who called on the leadership of your party to take action against the perpetrators.

We are dismayed at the fact that despite these calls, your outfit has still not reacted to the wanton assault on the four journalists, 32 days after the incident. We consider this attitude to be unbecoming of the NPP which is one of the biggest political parties in Ghana and the ruling party.

It is important to note that the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, has recently condemned the attack on a member of the party, Kwame Baffoe, popularly known as Abronye DC, whereas no single word has been said about the attack on the journalists which happened much earlier.

We are therefore petitioning you directly as the party’s leader to use your good offices to ensure that the party formally condemns the incident, renders apologies to the victims and punishes the perpetrators.

We wish to take the opportunity to urge you and the NPP leadership as a whole to take steps to stump out the growing culture of impunity among the party’s supporters since its return to power in January 2017.

In his recent encounter with the media, the President said that vigilantism has no party colours and asked the Police to deal with the menace. We have put the Inspector General of Police in copy of this petition, believing that his outfit will act, without prejudice to whatever action your leadership will take, to ensure that the assailants of the journalists are arrested to face the law.

We are hopeful that you would respond favourably to this petition.

Yours sincerely,
Sulemana Braimah
(Executive Director)

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Follow @AlloteyGodwin

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