Blacklisting MPs will not bring justice to assaulted journalists, Boadu-Ayeboafoh to GJA

The chairman of the NMC contends that the blacklisting of these Members of Parliament may not achieve justice for the assaulted journalists

Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC)Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has maintained his opposition to Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) plan to blacklist the MP for Yendi, Farouk Aliu Mahama and the MP for Awutu Senya East, Mavis Hawa Koomson for allegedly assaulting journalists.

Boadu-Ayeboafoh contends that the blacklisting of these Members of Parliament may not achieve justice for the assaulted journalists.

Speaking on the Big Bulletin on Asaase 99.5 on Monday (12 February), Boadu-Ayeboafoh emphasised that while seeking justice for assaulted journalists is paramount, he believes that blacklisting may not be the most effective approach.

“What we are looking for is justice for those individuals who are mistreated by other Ghanaians because they are exercising their democratic rights as journalists. And I’m saying that resorting to the blackout or boycott is not a productive solution to seeking redress for these journalists,” Boadu-Ayeboafoh asserted during the interview.

The incidents in question involve the reported attack on Citi FM’s Northern regional correspondent, Mohammed Aminu Alabira, allegedly by Farouk Aliu Mahama, during coverage of the National Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary primaries.

Another journalist is said to have been assaulted by supporters of the MP for Awutu Senya East, Mavis Hawa Koomson.

Boadu-Ayeboafoh highlighted alternative actions that could have been pursued, referencing a keynote address he delivered at a GJA training workshop on peaceful discourse.

He explained, “In the paper, I have made suggestions as to what I consider to be a more permanent solution rather than a boycott, and so I have made provisions in the paper I presented. I did not just say that boycotting is not good.”

However, Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, president of the GJA, disagreed with Boadu-Ayeboafoh’s position in an exclusive interview with Caleb Ahinakwah on the Big Bulletin.

“I am utterly shocked that he said he preferred permanent solutions to the cure of this attack in his address. Because the person you are talking to now, or the person who has actually initiated this discussion we are having this evening, was a former vice-president of the GJA.”

“That’s one, two; he is a senior member, as he has mentioned. The journalists have come under attack for years. The media have been under attack for years.

“There have been assaults on journalists that have led to deaths. Why hasn’t he preferred these solutions in the past?” Dwumfou remarked during the interview.

Reporting by Leroy Hawkson in Accra

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