The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has condemned the attack on a journalist with The Multimedia Group by one of its members.
The party, in a release signed by its General Secretary, John Boadu, assured journalists of its respect for the media as partners in development.
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It says it does not condone any action intended to suppress press freedom and distanced itself from the act and condemned it unreservedly.
Pressure has been piling on the NPP to take action on a known party member who attacked Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, a broadcast journalist with Adom FM last Friday.
Hajia Fati had stormed the party office ostensibly to stop suspended vice chair, Sammy Crabbe, from filing his nomination to contest the national chairmanship slot in the party’s upcoming congress.
Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Awehenepa
“I got closer to her. I wanted to interview her so I took my phone out. I wanted to take a picture and so as soon as she turned, she looked at my face and asked me why I was taking pictures of her. I didn’t utter a word. She punched my mouth, and she almost took the phone from me,” Charity Sakyiwaa Awehenepa said.
Justifying her action on the journalist on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, Hajia Fati said she thought the journalist was a supporter of the suspended official, adding that the journalist “looked like an onion seller”.
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The journalist, who was deployed to report on the happenings there, told Joy FM the party firebrand slapped her on the mouth when she attempted to take a picture of the scene being created by the woman.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has branded the NPP Headquarters, the scene of the attack, as unsafe for journalists.
“Anything can happen there”, Executive Director Suleman Briamah told Joy FM’s Newsnight on Monday.
The Ghana Journalist Association has said the tough-talking Hajia Fati, has a record of assaulting journalists.
The Association has said it is weighing legal options so as to ensure greater respect for journalists.
But in a quick turn of events, the NPP says, “no journalist should feel intimidated and must continue to discharge his/her duties without fear.”
“Though the New Patriotic Party has already begun an internal enquiry into the alleged incident, we will also cooperate with other agencies investigating same.”