The New Journalism Policy In Ghana; Beat One, Go Scot-Free?

Democracy simply means the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” OSCAR WILDE, [The Soul of Man Under Socialism]. A few years ago, I would have found it outrageous for anyone to even suggest this in a jovial setting. Today, I am swayed by the events of the recent months to give it a due consideration as the hard and bitter truth.

This bitter truth, seems to rear its ugly head time and again when a journalist features in the news only for the cause of being at the receiving end of violent assault for the reason of fulfilling his or her responsibility. This truth takes on an air of impunity when these cases are ignored and left to die out because contrary to the plethora of statements released after each incident, no one really cares.

And those whose jobs it is to care seem to find it rather too great an inconvenience;

Sometimes when these cases happen we only here of them in the news…. we will advise journalists to take step because an assault on a person is a crime. Take steps and report to the nearest police station and make sure the police enter the case.” Those were the words of Director General of Public Affairs for the Ghana Police Service, ACP David Eklu at an interview after a series of incidents that saw journalists being assaulted by politicians and policemen alike.

And I agreed – it seemed only logical that the police be informed before legal action could be taken. That was until I decided to analyse the facts. Today, after a month of silence and what I presume to be ‘investigations’, the New Democratic Party (NDC) have finally discovered the security personnel who found it his sole prerogative to dish out hefty slaps to an unsuspecting Multimedia journalist.

My shock came at comments made by parliamentarian, Mr. Nii Lamptey Vanderpuye when he spoke in an interview on Joy News channel saying that “whenever they [police] are ready to take action, the person will be handed to them.”

A month! And all we have to show for it was that if the police found it convenient, they could go and apprehend the individual who had no qualms with violently attacking a journalist because he ‘threatened his authority.’

At this rate, we might as well consider the profession an act of suicide.




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1 Comment

  1. Oh Sir, you refer to police. I beg to differ with you, indeed you are sadly mistaken. I have only ever met one policeman in Ghana. I have only seen one policeman that I could confidently say is a policeman. I have met a great number of genuine imitation policemen in Ghana and I must say looking at their fruits, as the Bible might say, one could confuse them with the criminals, misfits and other plagues that infect Ghana, such as pollution.

    As a foreigner, let me explain. I have had tens of thousands of dollars fraudulently stolen from me in Ghana. I have submitted numerous reports to imitation police which I incorrectly had assumed were real police, silly, silly me. I have witnesses, documents and other substantial evidence and not one “imitation” would take the time or interest to go through any of what I have. Some of those “imitations” were very senior “imitations” but still an “imitation” is an “imitation” and an “imitation” must do what an “imitation” does best. Silly me, I should have realized they were “imitations” before thinking that it would be worthwhile spending thousands of Cedis travelling here and there in my vain attempts at trying to have the law enforced and the fraud properly and professionally investigated by honest, decent and professional police.

    As I recently said to a Regional Commander, “there is no help (from police) for a foreigner in Ghana”. He didn’t reply. I was actually meeting the Commander in support of an acquaintance who was badly beaten by church members because he had asked them to turn down their church noise during the late night hours. Admittedly my friend acted without wisdom but he had also asked “imitations” to assist but they did what they do best; assisted with the pollution rather than uphold the law in regard noise – which is very clear. Actually in the course of writing this very paragraph I was blasted as a different kind of imitation strolled past belting out her idea of preaching from a bull horn in the street outside my house. She obviously hasn’t read the scripture: “He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice rising early in the morning it shall be counted as a curse to him (Proverbs 27:14 KJV). I had explained this to her before but what would I know having previously had a full time ministry, silly silly me again). Oh yes another group of pastors threatened to beat me up when my wife and I complained about noise late at night. They then turned to my wife and said they would beat her up too. I guess they were just another set of imitations, lots of them about you know! Yes I have been to police imitations many times before about horrendous noise in the hours of darkness and they did nothing but then the KMA did a great deal. It seems like they just wanted the noise to go on and on. The EPA well – oh there is another story. They were to the point, very professional in telling us lies and doing nothing at all. Silly silly me again.

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