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Nii Offei Calls for Act to Protect Journalists

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Nii Offei III, Chief of Kokrobite in the Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfro constituency and member of the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Council has called on the government to enact a law that would ensure the safety of journalists in Ghana.

He said that, as traditional ruler, he is overly worried about the lip service played by successive governments about the security and welfare of journalists in Ghana and thinks that the time has come for them to make these concerns real.

Nii Offei III further argued that most of the economic sectors have laws and Acts that seek to ensure their efficiency, but same cannot be said for the media, which is the fourth estate of the realm.

The chief recounted how land guards have in some cases molested journalists in certain areas of surrounding communities, and how in spite of these journalists continue to do their work excellently to the benefit of the whole country.

“Ghana cannot stride forward, if the Press is not protected and motivated, because that would affect their output and, in that case, it is Ghana that loses. Government will have to bring a special Act that seek primarily to protect the Press and their welfare. If we lose the media, Ghana is dead”, Nii Offei III noted

Similarly, a cross-section of the Ghanaian populace has made passionate appeal to politicians, especially policy makers in that regard, appealing to them to stop playing lip service to their commitment towards the security of journalists and be serious with their security, and motivation.

At Kasoa, in the Central Region of Ghana, which recently recorded the manhandling of journalists during the recently ended New Patriotic Party (NPP) elections, members indicated that the press has greatly contributed to the shaping of the community, which hitherto used to be haven for criminals. They wondered why central governments have done nothing to better their lots.

Journalists in Ghana have come under series of abuses, which some even end up in death. Joy news reporter Iddrisu Alhassan was recently manhandled by the Police at the Ghana Police Headquarters when he had gone to cover issues regarding the Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party Koku Anyidoho who was held for making treasonable statements.

On April 11, 2014, Ebenezer Kwame Abaka, a Western Regional Correspondent of TV3, a privately-owned television station, was heckled by a military man and his camera seized at an event he was invited to.

Every May 3rd is a date which yearly celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession

By: Frederick Aggrey

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