The Accra Mayor has apologised profusely to The Multimedia Group team and especially the veteran photojournalist who was assaulted during the coverage of a sanitation campaign.
Speaking on Joy Fm’s Super Morning Show, Thursday, Mohammed Adjei Sowah described the incident as “unfortunate.”
Attempts to cover-up a scene of food meant for sale stored at the same place as dustbin and public latrine, led to a scuffle, resulting in the heckling of the photojournalist, David Andoh.
Mr Andoh, who works with Joy News, was part of the Joy Clean Ghana Campaign team, made up of journalists, security officers, Public Health authorities and sanitation officers.
They were at Mantse Agbona, a suburb of Accra to ensure that public health and safety were not being compromised in that community.
The Joy Clean Ghana Campaign is an initiative of JoyNews, a brand under The Multimedia Group.
It is a campaign to rally citizens to their civic responsibilities to keep a clean community.
As part of the campaign, members of the team have been placed at hospitals, schools, churches and public places in a move to re-awaken a dying sense of communal duty.
The exercise, which has been incident-free since its inception, was met with stiff opposition Wednesday, at Mantse Agbona.
An Assemblyman, identified as James Addo (aka Zola), mobilised the community against the team.
Describing his ordeal on the SMS show, Mr Andoh said he was slapped.
According to him, “the Assemblyman came with his men and they were struggling to take the camera from me. So there was a struggle and somebody slapped me from behind.”
He added that “when they realised that they could not take the camera from me, they pushed me to the ground and crushed the camera on the ground.”
The Accra Mayor apologised to him in person and to The Multimedia Group when they both shared the same panel on the SMS Thursday.
Mr Sowah said he takes full responsibility for what the Assemblyman did.
“Unfortunately an incident occurred that was triggered by one of our own. So for collective responsibility, I will want to apologise on behalf of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to The Multimedia crew.
“From what I heard it was the Assembly member’s action that triggered the altercation and led to the slap,” a very remorseful Mr Sowah said.
The Accra Mayor said what happened took place on his blindside.
According to him, he was visiting some schools at the time of the incident.
“Then we had a call that there was an incident at Jamestown. At the time I rushed to the scene, they had called off the programme and were at the police station,” he narrated.
But, as a sign of his commitment to ensure that the right things are done, he followed up to the police station.
“I don’t think that this is acceptable in this era of democracy where there is freedom of the press. I don’t think that is something we should countenance at all,” he averred.
Mr Sowah promised maximum security to ensure that the rest of the exercise becomes successful.