The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. David Asante-Apeatu has bemoaned the avoidable tension between the Ghana Police Service and the media.
According to him, the seeming ‘war’ between the two important structures of society must come to an end in order to foster national good and benefits of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Speaking at a forum on Police-Media Relations and Safety of Ghanaians, held in Accra on Wednesday, the IGP indicated that the media has remained a reliable partner of the police as it continues to serve as a mirror to lay bare the shortcomings of the service.
“It is my hope that this forum would discuss all the issues that may lead to police-journalist crash, conflicts and misunderstanding,” he said.
Mr. Asante -Apeatu was positive that the forum would help build the capacity of police officers and journalist on effective media handling and conduct during police operations.
The program organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service (GPS) was aimed at strengthening relations between the Media and the police, as well as reinforcing the media’s role for effective policing in the country.
The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mr. Sulemana Braimah, indicated that there had been over 20 cases of abuse against journalists in the past 18 months.
Amongst the abused press men is Multimedia Journalist, Latif Iddrisu, who was allegedly beaten by some police officers at the Police Headquarters, in April this year―leaving the victim with a fractured skull and deteriorating health.
Media campaign has since been sparked to get justice for him.
GJA Boycotts Event
Meanwhile the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), for reasons best known to the association, failed to honour the invitation of the police and MFWA to the event.
The GJA had earlier argued that it would not be part of the forum because of the Police failed in properly handling the assault of Latif Iddrisu.
But Professor Kwame Karikari, a media expert said the GJA’s excuse was one not worth accepting.
“They (GJA) should have demonstrated― demanding the IGP to do something about the matter instead of not coming here to participate in this dialogue…when we have sat up here to resolve the issue, they (GJA) created the cheap lazy way out of not coming to comfort the issue,” Prof. Karikari said angrily.
Some journalists at the forum shared the same view with the professor and referred to the GJA’s boycott as ‘petty’ and ‘unwarranted’.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ email@example.com