The Upper East Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, is appealing to the national leadership of the Association to consider sanctioning a total boycott of media coverage of police events, including ones that would feature the President, Vice President, and other high level government officials.
This, according to Mr. Jalulah would force the police to reverse their decision that allows only the Director of Police Public Affairs Unit at the Police Headquarters in Accra to engage the media on crime related issues and police investigations.
“I wish to appeal to the Inspector-General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, to, as a matter of immediacy, lift his inimical directive that has barred District, Divisional, Regional Police Commanders and other senior officers of the service from speaking to the media, except the Director of Police Public Affairs Unit at the Police Headquarters in Accra. The question is; how well can a police officer sitting in Accra, speak creditably to issues happening in the Upper East Region or anywhere in Ghana? Why can’t the same officers giving briefings to the Public Affairs Unit, speak to the media in their respective regions just as it was the case in the past?”
“As a way of mounting pressure on the IGP to immediately reverse this unhealthy directive, I wish to suggest to the national leadership of the Ghana Journalist Association to sanction a boycott of all police activities and programmes. That means there should be no media coverage of any activities or programmes by the IGP and his administration, including programmes President Akufo-Addo, his Vice or any of his appointees will attend. This boycott should be sustained as long as the repressive directive by the IGP remains enforced,” he explained.
The Upper East Regional Chairman of the GJA was particularly surprised that this directive exists under the current President, Nana Akufo Addo, a known and globally celebrated human rights activist. According to Mr. Jalulah, the directive is against the basic rights of an individual’s to information.
“Several months after the implementation of this repressive directive, it is very sad that, President Akufo-Addo, as a human rights lawyer that we knew about in his active days as a lawyer, has not intervened for the IGP to reverse the directive. Could it be that, he, the President, sanctioned this unpopular directive? Not even calls by the GJA and well-meaning civil society organisations for the reversal of the directive has yielded good results. How long is the police administration going to deny citizens of this country, their right to information?”
The Upper East Regional Chairman of the GJA, who doubles as the General Manager of Bolgatanga-based A1 Radio, a subsidiary of Agreed Best Communication Limited, shared these sentiments when he spoke at a public lecture organised by the GJA.
The lecture is to commemorate this year’s World Press Freedom Day. It was hinged on the agenda “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for All Other Human Rights towards Ghana’s Development.”
Mr. Jalulah also cautioned journalists to be wary of the content they put out. Mr. Jalulah also reminded journalists of their sacred duties of ensuring that the reports that are put out are accurate, just, and objective.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana