The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has taken a decisive step by imposing a media blackout on Mavis Hawa Koomson, Member of Parliament (MP) and Minister for Fisheries. The decision was announced during a news conference held at the Gifty Affenyi Dadzie Conference Room by the leadership of the Journalists Association.
President Albert Kwabena Dwumfour addressed a distressing incident that has cast a shadow on the positive outlook for the media fraternity this year. The incident involved the assault of David Kobenna, a morning show host from Cape FM, during the Central Regional vetting of parliamentary aspirants of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
President Dwumfour provided details of the assault, which took place on January 4, 2024. Approximately 15 thugs, identified by their branded T-shirts bearing the name of Mavis Hawa Koomson, attacked David Kobenna during the vetting. The assailants, under the mistaken belief that he had insulted the MP, subjected him to a brutal beating. Despite presenting evidence of his identity as a media practitioner, the purported police officer present did not intervene.
In response to the assault, the GJA outlined four demands during their previous news conference on January 8, 2024:
1. Immediate investigation and identification of the culprits by the NPP at both regional and national levels.
2. Sanctioning of the perpetrators by the NPP.
3. Swift investigation by the Ghana Police Service to prosecute the culprits.
4. Identification and sanctioning of the purported police officer who invited David before the assault.
Regrettably, as reported by the GJA, none of these demands have been met, and no action has been taken by the NPP or the Police. Expressing disappointment and raising concerns about the safety of journalists, the GJA referenced information gathered about potential attacks by political actors on media practitioners in the coming year.
In light of the apparent inaction, the GJA announced the following measures:
1. A total media blackout on Mavis Hawa Koomson until further notice.
2. A call for the NPP leadership to identify and sanction the thugs responsible for the assault.
3. Urgent action by the Ghana Police Service to investigate and prosecute the assailants.
4. Identification and sanctioning of the purported police officer involved.
The call for a media blackout on Mavis Hawa Koomson is intended to ensure the safety of journalists, expressing concern about the perceived threat posed by individuals around the MP.
The GJA emphasized that this call is in the collective interest of journalists and urged all media houses to support the blackout until concrete actions are taken by the NPP and the Ghana Police Service. The GJA committed to monitoring developments and providing periodic updates to the public.