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Opinions of Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Columnist: Quaye, Stephen A.

GJA President:”Whaguan?” What Is Going On?

From: Stephen A. Quaye, Toronto-Canada.

Hello Mr. Ransford Tetteh,

Are you working hard to make sure that your children from the inky fraternity in Ghana get out of any trouble now, during and after the July 8-9 congress at Sunyani?

Oh yeah, are you sure? We hope so as you share your identified infectious smiles by saying yes or nodding your head to indicate that the authoritative body of the fourth estate is on the ground working to make sure that members who will be at Sunyani to cover the congress remain safe and untouched by any body.

No but we have to ask because it has become too many politicians, government officials as well as certain ordinary gurus physically attacking journalists just for doing their work by feeding the general public of what happens everyday irrespective of who they are and what they do.
Since you became the president of the “Pen is Mightier than the Sword” body, you have been working to ensure that every practicing member is protected whiles doing his work professionally by abiding by the ethics of the profession.
The last time I remember we talked was when you tried to shake the stuff out of my stomach when a story I filed about the former president J.A.Kufuor’s promise of donating a van to the GJA which was not coming then.
You were not mad at me because of the story but rather the photograph which was taken long before the president actually made the promise. You corrected me of a certain portion then we shared few ideas about problems we were facing as journalists in the Eastern Region and how the association could help us in doing our work.
Four years after we have never heard from each other again but I have been reading a lot of stories about the association and issues concerning member’s welfare as some people who feel exposed by members either attack them physically or verbally.
No but most of Ghanaians know about the Eastern regional minister’s verbal attack on members in Koforidua and that of the METRO television reporter by a DCE in Ashanti Region recently.
What happened during the Akwatia and Atiwa bye election where some journalists were nearly assaulted just because some party faithful tagged them as anti writers of their party therefore have to receive some lashes?
It was reported life on one of the radio stations as well as in the paper you serve as the anchor man where your Eastern Regional photographer was reported to have escaped from being lynched by some party Faithfull’s who thought they were not treated fairly by members of their opposition party.
At the Koforidua congress, I was nearly touched by irate party members who were going after persons they listed as anti NDC only to be saved by Mr. Kwame Tawiah Boateng and Mr. Anthony Gyampoh who were and are still regional executives of the umbrella party.
In less than twenty days from today the umbrella party will be going to elect their party’s flag bearer and there is a possibility that some writers will like to stay away from the venue because they knew they are already targets of some unscrupulous persons within the party.
Others will put on much courage to go and feed the general public right from whatever happens at the capital of the region which has been described as one of the food baskets of the country.
Now GJA president, the question some of us are asking is,” what is going on? Has there been any programme to orientate our brothers and sisters in the information gathering and dissemination area to ensure that they stay out of trouble before, during and after the congress?
Knowing your quality leadership as the president of the GJA, there is no doubt that you have supervised a programme for our brothers and sisters for this purpose.
But if there is a programme to orientate them to stay out from trouble for this particular congress and we do not know, kindly let us know because majority of the people who are much concern about what will happen have started to ask this question.
The ruling of a country is very difficult, if not you will not be seeing our president’s growing gray hair fast as they do when they get into office.
But the higher percentage of make or break of every government depends on the anchor men who feed the general public on events unfolding everyday for them to make their decisions.
Therefore all eyes are on your comrades as they go to gather the news and feed us come July 8-9 at Sunyani and to ensure that everything goes on smoothly for them and the entire country we ask, ”GJA PRESIDENT:”WHAT IS GOING ON” which in Jamaican Patois or [Patwa] language is said ”WHAGUAN?”