Feature Article of Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Columnist: Ackon, Paa Kow
The Independent Progressive Movement that is being transformed to become the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) condemns the embarrassment and instantaneous justice meted out on some journalists of this country by operatives of the BNI. We are particularly unhappy with the way and manner a photo journalist named Gifty Lawson from the Daily Guide was allegedly assaulted and stripped on Thursday by BNI operatives when she tried to take a photograph of a police suspect by name DSP Gifty Mawuenyega Tehoda who had been brought to court in connection with the controversial cocaine turned baking soda story.
We are disappointed that people who are supposed to know better would tak the law into their own hands and behave as if there is no law or leader in this country. The heartless treatment exhibited by the BNI operatives on the Daily Guide reporters should not be countenanced by the President or any other person who knows that the sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in this constitution as provided in Chapter 1, clause 1 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
It is rather unfortunate that the media that are supposed to be the mast of our democratic test can become victim of such lawless behavior. Those expected to protect the people cannot become the perpetrators of such anarchism. Our concern is not only about the absolute violation of the rights of the journalists but the treacherous precedence these illegalities represents for our political future.
We do not want to believe that this unjustifiable disregard for the rights of Ghanaians is a striking political strategy by the ruling government to establish some authority in the political scene. We do not want to remind people about the regrettable incidents that have taken place in this country since 1992. Is there any leadership at all in this country? Where is the promise of ‘’I care for you’?
As an incoming political party, our fear is that such lawlessness could jeopardize our justice system, intimidate journalists from performing their duty as the fourth estate of the realm and finally force people not to have confidence in the law enforcement agencies and by extension the political parties.
As a matter of urgency, we are calling on President John Fiifi Atta-Mills to cause the investigation of this alleged assault and find a lasting solution to the seeming lawlessness and instant justice in the country happening in the country.
The President and the national security agencis must offer unconditional apology to the lady, and the people of Ghana for the unprofessional manner with which the BNI operatives conducted themselves. The culprits must be punished to serve as deterrent to others.
Ghana is recognized as beacon of democracy and safe place for free press within the international community and we must not allow just few miscreants to take us back into the dark days of the past. The government must demonstrate valor and the enthusiasm to deal with all manner of lawlessness by providing satisfactory security for all Ghanaians.
H.E. Professor John Fiifi Evans Atta Mills, please be AWAKE!
Long Live the Progressive People’s Party
Long Live Press Freedom
Long Live Ghana
Paa Kow Ackon