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GJA blacklists Farouk Mahama for assault on journalist

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has asked media houses to blacklist the Member of Parliament (MP) for Yendi, Farouk Aliu Mahama, for assaulting Citi News’ Northern Regional Reporter, Mohammed Aminu M. Alabira.

The call has also received support from the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG).

“Any media house which violates the blacklist declaration believing that their staff will not be attacked and goes ahead to offer their platforms to Farouk Aliu Mahama, the blood of any journalist who will be killed during this period will be on the head of owners and management of such media houses,” the GJA President, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, said at a press conference in Accra last Tuesday.

The reporter was assaulted by the MP during the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primary on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Violence erupted during the counting process at the Yendi Senior High School.

 It is alleged that one of the Electoral Commission’s officials was caught destroying the ballots of Farouk Aliu Mahama’s opponents, which led to the violence.

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Mohammed Alabira was caught up in the violence and was slapped by Farouk Aliu Mahama while he was filing a live report.

The GJA president said though the association received an intel which suggested an orchestrated attack on the media before, during, and after Election 2024, it least expected the deafening silence from high-profile party bigwigs and persons who were at the helm of affairs at the regional and national levels.

He said after two other journalists were attacked during the party’s primaries, no senior member of the NPP had reached out to condemn the act.

“Just within one month in this year alone, two of our colleagues have been attacked without any provocation.

“Last year within the last quarter, more than 10 journalists were assaulted. 

Apart from the attacks, our records also show that from 2021 to date, four journalists spent days behind bars on the orders of the court for no apparent legal reasons.

“All these cases have not seen any closure and the perpetrators are free while the law enforcing agency, the police seemingly look on unconcerned,” Mr Dwumfour said. 

The GJA president has also urged the leadership of the NPP, both at the national and regional levels, to seek justice for the reporter by sanctioning the MP and his hoodlums appropriately.

Also, he appealed to the Ghana Police Service to speed up investigations into the case and arraign the perpetrators to face the full rigours of the law for their distasteful conduct.

“This time the policemen and women are witnesses to the incident as it happened.

We are giving the NPP, regional and national, and the Ghana Police Service a 10-day ultimatum each to hear from them.

They should arrest the perpetrators.

If they fail, we shall advise ourselves,” Mr Dwumfour said.

He said the media fraternity also wanted the courts in Ghana to demonstrate their commitment to upholding freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.

In that regard, he appealed to the judiciary to issue more deterrent convictions for hoodlums who attacked journalists.

He went ahead to call on the Speaker of Parliament to intervene in the Yendi case and haul the MP to the appropriate Parliamentary Committee to respond to his dishonourable behaviour.

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