…And Issues Deceptive Apology For Hajia Fati
New Patriotic Party (NPP) Communications Director says the governing party’s delay in condemning an assault on a Multimedia journalist, was because of a funeral.
Interestingly, Adomako Baafi, is yet to name the dead person and where the funeral was held.
It is obvious the party, has no plans to punish her conduct it has described as “nasty, dastard….and reckless…”despite her admission that she thought she was beating up an onion seller.
He told Joy Midday News, as the Communications Director, he was to have condemned last Friday’s incident much earlier.
But funeral arrangements appeared to have distracted him.
The condemnation, however, came more than three days after the incident at the party headquarters in Accra.
When it finally came, it was replete with several adjectives of outrage. “It is nasty, dastard….and reckless…” NPP Communications Director said.
The firebrand activist, Hajia Fati, has admitted to slapping Multimedia journalist, Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Awehenepa.
Haji Fati, insists she thought she was an onion seller; someone from the market.
Although, she has refused to apologize, the party’s communications Director, has apologised for the incident.
“We are very sorry. We condemn this act, “he said but it is clear Hajia Fati, will not be punished by the NPP over her conducts.
Dissociating the party from Hajia Fati, Adomako Baafi said the incident ought not to undermine the party’s standing as a media-friendly political party.
“Everybody knows that,” he said and pointed to the abolition of oppressive media laws under the first NPP government in 2001.
He said, the party was “ever-ready” to cooperate with the police investigations.
The Communications Director, praised the media, crediting it for the development of Ghana’s democracy.
The party yesterday condemned an attack by one of its firebrand known for her violent conduct, on a journalist with The Multimedia Group.
In a press release signed by the General Secretary, John Boadu, assured journalists that, it respects and cherishes the role of the media as partners in development.
It says, it does not condone any action intended to suppress press freedom and distanced itself from the act and condemned it unreservedly.
Pressure has been piling on the NPP to take action on a known party member who attacked Ohemaa Sakyiwaa, a broadcast journalist with Adom FM last Friday.
Hajia Fati, had stormed the party office ostensibly to stop suspended vice chair, Sammy Crabbe, from pickings nomination form to contest the national chairmanship slot in the party’s upcoming congress.
“I got closer to her. I wanted to interview her so I took my phone out. I wanted to take a picture and so as soon as she turned, she looked at my face and asked me why I was taking pictures of her. I didn’t utter a word. She punched my mouth, and she almost took the phone from me,” Charity SakyiwaaAwehenepa said.
Justifying her action on the journalist on Joy FM Super Morning Show Monday, Hajia Fati, said she thought the journalist was a supporter of the suspended official, adding that the journalist “looked like an onion seller”.
The journalist, who was deployed to report on the happenings there, told Joy FM, the party firebrand slapped her on the mouth, when she attempted to take a picture of the scene being created by the woman.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has branded the NPP Headquarters, the scene of the attack, as unsafe for journalists.
“Anything can happen there”, Executive Director Suleman Briamah told Joy FM’s Newsnight on Monday.
The Ghana Journalist Association has said the tough-talking Hajia Fati, has a record of assault on journalists.
The Association has said it is weighing up legal option to ensure greater respect for journalists.
Meanwhile, Hajia Fati has been granted bail as police investigate her assault on a Multimedia journalist last Friday.
She was granted bail at the Nima Police station in Accra, Director of Police Public Affairs, ACP David Eklu, has said.
The bail is to allow police investigations after a report was filed by the victim.
The Multimedia Group, has also officially filed a complaint with the NPP for the unprovoked attack last Friday at the party’s headquarters which has provoked the media fraternity.
A statement by the company also said, it had petitioned the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, to ensure the safety of journalists working in the country.
The company also thanks several media organisations for the sustained pressure on government and the show of solidarity with a colleague.
The Multimedia Group
STATEMENT OF APPRECIATION TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES FOR THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH MULTIMEDIA IN THE WAKE OF THE ASSAULT ON TWO OF ITS STAFF
Management of The Multimedia Group has taken note of the support and solidarity from the public, and In particular the media fraternity, following the needless attacks on two of our reporters, Latif lddris and Charity AkosuaSakyiwaa.
Since tent was attacked by the police and Charity at the NPP headquarters by a known party activist HajiaFati; Multimedia has taken the following actions:
- Made a formal report to the police for Investigations into the cases, and, our next line of action will depend on the outcome of the police investigations.
- Made a formal complaint to the leadership of the NPP in the case of Charity Sakyiwaa.
- Petitioned the Information Minister to ensure safety, not only for Multimedia journalists, but all journalists in the country.
- We have also written to the National Media Commission for its appropriate action
We condemn any form of attack on any journalist anywhere; and we stand together in this light.
We appreciate the solidarity from all our colleagues in the media. This is important for the sustenance of our pursuit for broader freedom of expression.
We must sustain this campaign to ensure that journalists anywhere in this country are not subjected to this kind of abuse in the discharge of their duties.
On behalf of Management, we wish to thank the Ghana Journalists Association, The Media Foundation for West Africa, The Despite Group. Citi FM for the massive show of support and all other media houses that have solidarized with us.
We also want to thank the Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms. Mr, Ken Ashigbey, for his support for zero tolerance for violence against journalists.