The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah, has asked Ex-President John Mahama to personally and publicly condemn the assault of Joy News reporter, Kwesi Parker-Wilson by a member of his security detail.
Kwesi Parker-Wilson was assaulted in the line of duty by the ex-President’s security detail Monday evening.
According to the reporter, he wanted to cover an interaction between the Ex-President — who was on a campaign tour — and some authorities of Pentecost University where he had gone to meet delegates.
The security would, however, not allow him as they claimed it wasn’t open to the media. An attempt by Parker-Wilson to explain to the security officer that he was with the ex-President and had been covering all his activities, did not go down well with him.
“You are challenging my authority” he quoted the security detail as saying. The assault has left the journalist visibly bruised with part of his face swollen and his right eye teary with pain.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tuesday, Mr. Sulemana Braimah said a public condemnation of the assault by Mr. Mahama would send a message to his supporters that assaulting journalists is not the way to go.
“I think it will be great to hear the former president himself…a public comment will be in order,” he said.
John Mahama’s campaign team has said the security official who assaulted the reporter will face the maximum punishment.
“When the person is identified the appropriate sanctions will be applied…it is going to be the severest form of punishment I can assure you on that,” the spokesperson for ex-President, James Agyanim Boateng told Daniel Dadzie on the Super Morning Show.
He added that “if it requires that the person be suspended or the person be dismissed, that action will be taken”.
He could, however, not confirm the exact punishment that would be meted out; he explained that “it would have to come from the in-charge of the security”. “I can only speak when I have been advised on what the sanction is,” he stated.
A statement issued by the campaign team Monday evening said the incident is being investigated and that the ex-President has personally apologised to the journalist.
Multiple journalists attacked
This year alone, several journalists have been attacked in line of duty by political party folk and even the police.
Joy News’ Latif Iddrisu was brutalised by some policemen on March 27, at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) where he had gone to cover the arrest of Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress for some comments he made.
Nothing has come out of the police investigations into the matter.
In May, a staunch supporter on the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), known as Hajia Fati, slapped Adom FM reporter Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Ahwenepa, because she claimed the journalist did not seek her permission. She was, however, fined by the court.
Joy Business’ Karen Dodoo and a TV3 reporter were also manhandled by workers of embattled gold dealing firm Menzgold, when they went there to get reactions from customers in September.