By Freddy Shakur
The Editor-In-Chief of the Daily Graphic, Kenneth Edem Ashigbey, has taken the recent attack on one of his reporters, Daniel Kenu, to the extreme by powerfully banning the name and photographs of Ghana Black Stars captain from all newspapers published by the state-owned company, indefinitely.
The Herald gathered and indeed, observed that for some time now, the name and images of Asamoah Gyan alias, “Baby Jet”, have not appeared in both the Daily Graphic and Graphic Sports as the powerful Ken Ashigbey, has pitifully banned them over the brutality suffered by the Graphic’s reporter from Baffuor Gyan, senior brother of the senior national team captain.
Even, when Asamoah Gyan, scores a goal for the Black Stars, his name does not appear in the newspapers as a result of the strict orders of Mr. Ashigbey, the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited.
The decision, has left some staff wondering about the source of Mr. Ashigbey’s arrogant powers, while many others also tell The Herald that the decision to ban the Ghanaian captain from the newspapers, is a confirmation that management of the state-own company, has significantly deteriorated, since Mr. Ashigbey’s appointment.
For instance, when the senior national team played and defeated their Guinean counterpart; Syli Nationale, the Ghanaian captain’s name and image did not appear in the Thursday 16, edition of the Daily Graphic, despite brilliant performance and a goal in Tamale, the previous day.
Apart from the Daily Graphic, the Graphic Communications Group Limited owns the Graphic Sports, Mirror, Graphic Business, as well as Junior Graphic, and none of the above mentioned his name or used his image.
Additionally, The Herald is informed that the Managing Director, has blacklisted Daniel Kenu by ensuring that his name is not associated with the Graphic Communications Group Limited. Insiders told this paper that currently, the Kumasi-based reporter, writes stories for the Daily Graphic, but he is not acknowledged as the author of those stories.
Mr. Ashigbey, is said to have practically interdicted Mr. Kenu and consequently set up an internal committee to investigate the Ashanti Regional reporter to unravel the circumstances behind his withdrawal of the assault case against Baffour Gyan and his goons.
Inside the offices of the Daily Graphic, are unsubstantiated claims that Mr. Kenu, collected a whopping US$75,000 from the Gyan family, hence his unceremonial withdrawal of the case without first notifying Ken Ashigbey, who have taken the newspaper’s fight against Baffour Gyan and his goons, rather personal.
Sources within Graphic Communications Group Ltd, have hinted The Herald that the Mr. Ashigbey-led management felt letdown by the reporter, having rallied a nationwide support for him at the time of the incident.
The Herald is informed that Daniel Kenu, has since submitted a report from a clinical psychologist detailing the hypertensive-related stress he was going through when the attack occurred and why he had to stop pursuing the case to save his life and that of his aged and ailing mother.
But the decision to ban names and images of Asamoah Gyan and his brother, The Herald gathered was a one-man decision taken by the Mr. Ashigbey, after his nationwide call on Ghanaian journalists to boycott a planned press conference organized by the Gyan brothers through their lawyer, a couple of weeks ago, which was ignored.
The Graphic boss on his Facebook page on Tuesday, September 23, had written: “I will urge all journalists to boycott this press conference. People who assault journalists want us to cover them.”
According to him it will be a “sin against all who have died in the cause of duty and all who are still being assaulted. I urge all Ghanaian Journalist & Media persons & house once in our live to stand for what is right.”
Interestingly, the victim, Daniel Kenu, surprised his boss and many, when he dropped the assault charges against Baffour, citing health and personal reasons, including the sudden death of his uncle, who had earlier, prevailed upon him not to drag the Kenu family name in the mud by going ahead with the assault case against the ex-footballer and his thugs in Kumasi.
Mr. Kenu, was attacked after a press conference in Kumasi, for demanding whether Asamoah Gyan, had used ace-Ghanaian musician, “Castro”, for rituals to boost his football career.
The artist and his girlfriend, Janet, mysteriously went missing at Ada, while jet skiing on Volta River in July, this year.
Meanwhile, the committee set up by the management of Graphic to investigate Mr. Kenu is to among other things establish if the reporter, has breached the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on whether unilateral withdrawal of the assault case without recourse to management was justified.
It was said that management had written to him to consult it before taking any action on the matter, while a lawyer was appointed to assist him on any move he intended to take regarding the case.
Also, the committee would also establish the issue of misconduct, indiscipline, disloyalty, as well as an alleged embarrassment caused the Managing Director, Mr. Ashigbey and the company as a whole.