An attack on a Multimedia journalist on the last day of the 2018 World Press Freedom Day is testing the resolve of media practitioners to exact vengeance on the oppressors of media practitioners.
Media watchdogs have weighed in on an apology by the governing New Patriotic Party following an attack on a Multimedia journalist last Friday and concluded, it is good but not enough.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) want to see the police go ahead and prosecute the attacker, Hajia Fati known for his notorious attacks on journalists.
Victim of the attack,Ohemaa Sakyiwaa Awehenepa, has presented a medical report to the police who are investigating the case, Adom FM Editor A.C Ohene told Joy FM.
There are staff willing to act as witnesses in the case should the police prosecute.
GJA President Affail Monney told Joy News, “we accept the apology. It is in good faith…but the apology does not negate the fact that Hajia erred criminally”
“The law must deal surgically with her. The law must speak”, he made a calm, cold conclusion.
Seasoned journalists, Kwame Sefa Kayi and Citi FM icon Bernard Avle have been pushing the party for a strong reaction towards the assault.
MFWA Executive Director Sulemana Braimah said he struggled to find apologetic words in a terse party statement that said it dissociates itself from the action of the known Akufo-Addo loyalist.
He said the NPP statement was only a matter of course following a 48-hour media bombardment on the party that appeared to consider silence as golden.
“I don’t know any institution that would have been able to resist the barrage of media condemnation and attacks for the silence”, he talked up media power to put power to the sword.
The statement, he said is “just to try and say well they accusing us of being quiet here is a statement”.
But the MFWA Executive Director said this is too little too late.
He went on to reveal the party did not have the courtesy to acknowledge its petition following the assault that occurred on the last day of World Press Freedom Day.
The ‘apology’ appeared like throwing a bone to media watchdogs and hope that sleeping dogs would lie.
But the watchdogs would not back down on its bark. MFWA said it would take a suspension of the staunch NPP member much better than the apology.
The attack by Hajia Fati brings the NPP into disrepute if the NPP constitution is a guiding document in this melee.
After all, Hajia Fati has not apologised but has been explaining away the punch between the nose and upper lip of the reporter.
‘She looked like an onion seller’, Hajia Fati, confessed her attack in an interview but she was empty with remorse.
GJA President Affail Monney would contribute more adjectives and lawyers in addressing the criminal incident.
He stressed the slap is “palpably criminal act” and the Association has several lawyers waiting for the group to whistle ‘court action’.
Affail Monney characterised Hajia Fati as a “symbol of impunity” and dealing with the attack can dismantle this symbol.