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General News of Thursday, 16 March 2017

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Police reluctant to release presidential press accident report - GJA president

GJA President Affail Monney GJA President Affail Monney

The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney, has expressed indignation at the reluctance of the police to release the report of the presidential press accident that killed a Ghanaian Times reporter and injured 12 others on August 20, 2015.

"The police are dilly-dallying. I don't know what they are trying to hide," he said.

According to him, what the police claim the evidence they were looking for could not be found.

Mr Monney made this known in an answer to a question when he visited the offices of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GGCL) in Accra today (Monday) to canvass for votes ahead of the upcoming GJA elections in which he is seeking re-election.

On August 20, 2015, members of the presidential press corps who were returning from Ho in the Volta Region after covering an official assignment of then President John Dramani Mahama, were involved in an accident at the Shai Hills, killing Samuel Nuamah, 36, the Ghanaian Times' correspondent on the spot, while others sustained various degrees of injury.

Those who survived the accident said the rented commercial Ford Bus in which they were travelling burst a rear tyre and the driver lost control of the vehicle as it somersaulted several times before landing in a swampy area.

The accident drew fierce public reaction against the presidency with many questioning why journalists who covered the President should be transported in a rented commercial vehicle.

Mr Monney said, “We have been pursuing this case" but nothing positive had come out of it.

Unionised GJA

Although he tried to avoid what he described as a "self-assessment" of his leadership, the GJA President, nevertheless, would not shelve some of the “positive developments” in the association within the past three years of his administration.

He mentioned for instance that plans to unionise the GJA was almost complete and come June, this year, “a unionsied GJA would be born.”

Mr Monney further stated that his administration had initiated moves to improve the financial base of the GJA so that the association would not overly be dependent on donors.

In that regard, he said, a new presidential press centre project, which would be about 80 per cent commercialised is expected to take off this year.

He said an insurance package for journalists was also ready for implementation.

The GJA boss lamented the poor conditions of service of journalists in the country and said a GJA Fund is being set up to supplement the pension fund of members.

Four main pillars

Mr Monney stated that when given another chance, his leadership would focus on four main areas namely high professional standards, commitment, transparency and high level of tolerance.

He said he believed he had the kind of leadership style that would propel the association to a greater height.

The GJA president also dispelled romours lingering around that one of his children was sent outside the country to represent the GJA at a conference recently.

In view of that, he went round to show the passports of his children to journalists in the Daily Graphic newsroom, noting that none of them had ever travelled outside the country.
He also shared the views of his contenders to the effect that the race was supposed to be fun, and not personal attacks as was the case.

Enhanced GJA awards

Mr Monney assured members of the GJA that under his leadership, the GJA awards would continue to be enhanced.

“We will ensure that the awards become juicy. In the last awards, we gave out 2 SUVs and now we want to introduce a housing award as part of the package,” he said.

He called on members of the association to vote massively for him to continue with his good works.

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