Friday, January 2, 2009

GJA expresses concern about security in the country

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Friday said it was deeply concerned about the general national security situation during and after the presidential run-off and condemned acts of intimidation.
     In a statement signed by Mr Ransford Tetteh, GJA noted that there had been incitement to violence by some radio stations and unwarranted physical attacks on journalists and other media personnel by some political party supporters.
     "We condemn unreservedly all such acts of lawlessness and intimidation that are creating a sense of national insecurity and raising the country's political temperature," the statement said.
     GJA said the political tension that had been generated by the December 28, 2008 run-off posed a serious challenge to the democratic process and the country's peace and stability.
     "The GJA urges the National Media Commission (NMC) to hold an emergency meeting with stakeholders, particularly the owners of radio stations and the leadership of political parties whose supporters are involved in those acts of lawlessness and intimidation to advocate calm and allow the Electoral commission to carry out its constitutional mandate.
     "We call upon the security agencies, particularly the police service to show greater concern about attacks on media personnel. The service should raise its institutional alert on matters concerning attack on journalists in their line of duty, to make media operations safe, especially during the rest of the political season."
     The GJA also urged all journalists to exhibit circumspection in their reportage by abiding by the provisions of the GJA guidelines on election coverage and the NMC manual on political journalism, "to enable them to tell the truth, investigate the hidden, explain the background and present the facts impartially at all times as part of the general effort to reduce political tension".
     The GJA said events during and after the presidential run-off had clearly established the need for Ghana to have a broadcasting law that clearly defined the mode of operations of her broadcasting industry.
     The GJA also appealed to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP and Professor John Evans Atta Mills "to seek the path of dialogue" in an attempt to resolve the political impasse and calm tension and anxiety among the populace.
     It also appealed to religious leaders, traditional authorities and professional bodies to mobilize public opinion against the political polarization that has emerged as a result of the run-off and to help build bridges between the two major political divide. 
     "That way, the GJA believes Ghana will remain a united country and a beacon of hope for democracy in Africa."

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