….NPP Allegiance Required
By Patrick Biddah
It is emerging that more Journalists assigned to cover official assignment bothering on activities of President Akufo-Addo, have suffered one form of victimization or the other.
Somewhere last week ,news of the refusal of a Ghanaian Times reporter who was assigned to cover the Eastern region tour of President Akufo-Addo broke out.
In that report, Ms AmaTakyiwaa Ampadu, who was assigned by the State owned Ghanaian Times newspaper, was refused the right to cover a sitting President’s activities in the region on the account that she is not in bed with the government .
She was again told in the face by the Communication Director for the NPP in the Eastern region, Mr David Prah that she was not cleared by National Security to cover the President coupled with the claims that The Ghanaian Times, has developed the perchance for reporting negative stories about the Presidency.
She, together with correspondents for Joy News, EIB, TV Africa and Peace Fm, are perceived not to be sympathetic to the NPP and therefore prevented from covering the President .
This practice according to the Journalists in the region, is in sharp contrast to what pertained during the President John Mahama era.
According to them, media invitation to cover the government’s activities used to be done by the Public Relations Officer for the Eastern region Cordinating Council before the New Patriotic Party assumed power.
Apparently, another Journalist in the Western region, suffered a similar fate when President Akufo-Addo toured the region in the middle of June this year.
Speaking with The Herald on condition of not wanting to be mentioned, the Journalist said he was faced with similar ordeal when he was sacked from the team of Journalists who were to cover the President’s tour of the Western region this year.
“It is more like gagging the media in the region. When you are deemed to be sympathetic to the course of the NPP you will cover all their assignments but not us “,he told The Herald.
He told The Herald that the denial to cover the government’s activities does not pertain to the President alone and that only Journalists said to be aligned with the government of the day are allowed to even cover the regional Minister and any other government programmes.
The Herald gathered that this development is an undercurrent among Journalists in other regions, but for the fear of being further victimized have kept quiet.
Back in Accra, the official photographer who was assigned to cover President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House was thrown away on the basis, that he was not one of those who covered President Akufo-Addo when he was the Presidential candidate seeking to be elected.
As it is now, there is no accredited Photographer for the Ghanaian Times at the seat of Government except their reporter.
All of these are happening under the watch of a President, who was credited with the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law when he was the Attorney General in former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration .
More shocking is the overhyped credentials of him being a Human Right lawyer and an advocate of press freedom and free speech.
This has brought into question his commitment to such, and making his predecessor having an urge over him in terms of press freedom.