The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it is appalled and outraged over the assault carried out against a journalist by a known activist of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Hajia Fati.
The party, in a statement signed by its Director of Communications, Solomon Nkansah, said development was a dent on the country’s reputation on the Freedom of the Press index for Africa.
While chastising the NPP for its “lack of courage and decisiveness” in “reprimanding Hajia Fati in a timely and sincere manner considering that the unwarranted violent conduct of their leading member took place in open glare right in front of some top executives of the NPP,” the NDC called on the police to investigate the matter and make public its findings concerning various attacks carried out against journalists at the NPP Headquarters.
“The NDC is equally outraged that the NPP has not as at yet retracted and apologized to onion sellers and market women across the country. This is most reprehensible,” the statement added.
Read the full statement below:
The leadership of the National Democratic Congress is appalled and outraged at the shameful and brutal assault on Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, a journalist working with Adom FM of the Multimedia Group at the New Patriotic Party’s Headquarters.We note that the perpetrator – Hajia Fati who has become infamously notorious for unleashing violence at the NPP Headquarters attacked the harmless journalist without any provocation whatsoever while she was performing her lawful duties as a journalist on Friday, May 4, 2018.
The NDC condemns the assault on Miss Sakyiwaa in the strongest possible terms. Democratic Ghana which currently occupies the top spot in Africa on the Freedom of the Press index cannot continue to record such dents especially at the headquarters of the ruling party.
We also deplore the lack of courage and decisiveness by the NPP in condemning and reprimanding Hajia Fati in a timely and sincere manner considering that the unwarranted violent conduct of their leading member took place in open glare right in front of some top executive of the NPP. This is the reason we find the use of the term “alleged” in the NPP’s under pressure, belated and weak statement as most offensive and insensitive to Miss Sakyiwaa.
We call on the Ghana Police Service to as a matter of urgency investigate and take immediate action on this particular matter and also apprise the nation on the outcome of investigations of other recent attacks on Journalists at the NPP Headquarters.
We wish to afford this opportunity to remind the Police that the NDC and the general public particularly the Ghanaian media fraternity is running out of patience as we await their report on Latif Iddrisu who sustained injuries at their hands when our Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho was arrested.
The NDC demands that President Akufo-Addo takes steps to stem the lawlessness, violence, bloodletting and assault on press freedom that have become synonymous to his party’s headquarters.
We also condemn the attempt by Hajia Fati to create the impression that our nation’s hardworking onion sellers can be justifiably attacked just because they sell onions. It is shocking that any leading member of the ruling party will have such a criminal mindset towards our dynamic market women whose taxes are used to fund the creature comforts of these NPP elites.
The NDC is equally outraged that the NPP has not as at yet retracted and apologised to onion sellers and market women across the country. This is most reprehensible.
The NDC takes this opportunity to congratulate the Ghana Journalist Association and all media practitioners for their fortitude and courage in speaking up against this canker. Ghana’s democratic gains cannot and will not be eroded by the actions of a few lawless elements in our society.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Miss Sakyiwaa and all victims of violent attacks against the media.
We also renew our solidarity with all onion sellers, market women and indeed the workers of our dear country.
May justice be done in this matter.
Solomon Yaw Nkansah
National Communications Director, NDC.
The journalist, The reported assault occurred after Hajia Fati forcefully prevented Sammy Crabbe, a suspended official of the party, from picking up forms to contest for the NPP’s chairmanship position.
The reporter, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa of Adom FM said she had attempted taking a photo when she was slapped.
In a radio interview, Hajia Fati explained that she thought the reporter was Sammy Crabbe’s underling who had been sent to take pictures for ulterior motives, adding that she looked more like an “onion seller” than a reporter.
“The woman standing there did not look like a reporter. I thought it was one of Sammy Crabbe’s women who wanted to take pictures of me. The lady did not look like a reporter. She resembled an onion seller. She did not look like a reporter at all,” she said.
The Executive Director for Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has condemned the attack, describing it as an unfortunate incident.
He noted that the assault of the journalist indicates that the NPP’s headquarters was a danger zone for journalists as this incident is among many others recorded in recent times at the same location, which the party has remained silent.
Not long ago, Citi FM‘s Marie-Franz Fordjoe and other reporters including one from GhanaWeb were also beaten at the party headquarters.
‘Suit over the attack.’
Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney, has also condemned the attack, adding that the GJA is considering taking legal action against Hajia Fati.
The Multimedia Group, the parent company of Adom FM, says it has filed a complaint at the Nima Police station and will go ahead with a civil suit against Hajia Fati over the attack.
Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party has disassociated itself from Hajia Fati’s action and condemned it. In a statement copied to citinewsroom.com on Tuesday, it said it was conducting its own investigation on the matter.