General News of Thursday, 13 December 2012
The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku has stated that supporters of the opposition New Patriotic Party currently camping at the Obra Spot near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in protest at Friday’s poll results must leave.
He says occupying the Obra Spot was not the solution to the NPP’s concerns with the election results.
Mr. Baako, who was speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme Thursday, said the opposition party should rather concentrate on the legal challenge it has declared it will bring against the Electoral Commission.
Creating a public nuisance by occupying the spot, according to him, could amount to a violation of the laws of the land and undermine public confidence in the concerns of the party.
The NPP is alleging fraud in Friday’s poll in which incumbent President John Mahama was declared winner with 50.70% of the vote. The NPP’s candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo obtained 47.74% of the total votes cast but the party alleges the vote was rigged in favour of the president and indicated it is preparing to challenge the declaration of Mr. Mahama as winner at the Supreme Court.
In the mean time, supporters of the party have been converging at the Obra Spot in a Tahrir Square-style sitting.
But Mr. Kweku Baako, who has sympathy for the opposition party, says reports that some of the supporters have attacked journalists whose media houses called the election for Mr. Mahama “is why it is critical that the crowds are moved out of the streets.”
He said the leadership of the NPP must quickly render an apology to the media persons who suffered unjustified attacks from their supporters. “I am not saying they asked the crowd to go and attack journalists but I am holding the leaders responsible,” he added.
The party must condemn in no uncertain terms, the acts of violence against journalists, he said.
“The NPP’s track record relative to media freedoms is impeccable,” he added.
According to him, “If the NPP leadership does not take steps to mitigate these, the damage will becomes irredeemable.”
The veteran journalist said the party must also take steps to replace the property of media houses damaged by angry supporters.
A former Information Minister under the Kufuor administration, Oboshie Sai-Coffie in a text message to the host of the show, Randy Abbey, said she had personally spoken with the media houses whose personnel were attacked by the NPP supporters.
She added that a apology letters had been prepared and were being distributed today, Thursday, December 13, 2012.
Ms Sai-Coffie said she was also making arrangements to meet with the journalists attacked for direct talks.
Responding, Kweku Baako said that was a “mark of courageous leadership.”