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Govt, GJA condemn killing of journalist

BY: Mary Mensah & Nana Konadu Agyeman
Mr Affail Monney, GJA President, speaking at the press conference. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY
Mr Affail Monney, GJA President, speaking at the press conference. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

The government and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) have condemned the gruesome murder of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, an undercover journalist of Tiger Eye PI, who was shot dead by some unknown assailants at Madina last Wednesday.

They urged the security agencies to speed up investigations into the killing and bring the perpetrators to book.

Government

At a news conference in Accra on Thursday, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the “government condemns this heinous and barbaric act”.

“We are aware the police have begun investigations into the incident and we urge them to quicken their investigations and bring the perpetrators to book. Violence against media practitioners and journalists must not be tolerated,” he said.

He extended the government’s heartfelt condolences to the victim’s family, Tiger Eye PI and the media fraternity.

The minister entreated all persons who might have information on those who could possibly be behind the murder to make such information available to the security agencies to enable them to act quickly.

GJA shocked

At another news conference in Accra Thursday, the President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney, called on journalists to remain calm and not be intimidated by the killing of their colleague.

He said nothing should prevent them from discharging their constitutional mandate of serving the interest of the public.

Mr Monney called on the Ghana Police Service to, as a matter of priority and urgency, arrest the killers to face the law.

Media fraternity

He said in order to restore a sense of hope and security in the media fraternity, as well as clear the soiled image of the country, the murder of Ahmed must not go unpunished.

Mr Monney indicated that the GJA was totally devastated by the heinous crime and believed that every decent-minded Ghanaian equally felt the same.

Present at the press conference was the Chairman of the Media Commission, Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh; the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Ato Afful; the General Manager of the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Kofi Owusu, and the Dean of the School of Information and Communications Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo.

Ghana’s version of Jamal Khashoggi

According to the GJA President, by its sheer execution, Ahmed’s elimination passed as Ghana’s version of the infamous killing of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
 “This, indeed, is a sad day for not only the media fraternity in Ghana but the country as a whole,” he stated.

He indicated that there had been similar killings in recent memory, saying the murder of King George Abanga, a Peace FM correspondent in Goaso in September 2016  and Portia Amma Agyeiwaa of a radio station in Bekwai was still fresh in memory.

He said those killings, in addition to the rampant assault of journalists in recent times, sent a worrying signal that the media were under serious attack in an era when civility and the rule of law were expected to reign in the thoughts and actions of society.

He appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take personal interest in the matter to get to the bottom of the case.

Security apparatus

For his part, Mr Boadu -Ayeboafoh said what affected one journalist affected all and that injustice anywhere was a threat to justice everywhere.

He said an abominable act had been committed “and we need to join hands to condemn it and challenge the security apparatus that this is a test case for them and hope they live up to expectation”.

He also called on members of the public, expecially those who witnessed the gruesome murder, to offer information that would assist the police in their investigations.