General News of Saturday, 20 August 2016
Victims of the presidential press corps accident that resulted in the death of one journalist a year today, are yet to be given any form of compensation, 3News can authoritatively state.
The about 13 journalists, who sustained various degree of injuries in the accident that occurred at Afienya on August 20, 2015, have had their medical bills paid by the presidency.
Thirty-seven year-old Samuel Nuamah, a presidential correspondent of the Ghanaian Times, however died in the accident that shook the media sphere. The journalists were returning from Ho in the Volta Regional after covering President Mahama at a programme organised by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Eleven other journos in the GMC bus sustained various degree of injuries, some of which were life threatening. Some of the victims were hospitalised for weeks before they were discharged.
A year on, the report of the accident has still not been made public, as both government and the Police have remained tight-lipped on the issue despite public demand for what caused the accident that shook the media sphere.
The accident vehicle, which was to aid in Police investigations, was towed away from the police station where it was first taken to. Its whereabouts and ownership have also been kept a secret.
3News has gathered that a year on, none of the victims has received insurance compensation from the insurers of the accident vehicle or even the presidency on whose assignment they had that fatal accident.
“We don’t have the information from the president to know exactly how they have been compensated,” General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association, Dave Agbenu said on TV3’s midday on Saturday. He said a meeting with the presidency has been scheduled in a bid to get information regarding compensation and other things regarding that accident.
“At the first anniversary, a lot of people are asking questions and demanding answers for them. We think that it’s just appropriate for the entire nation to know about what has happened after the death of our member,” Mr Agbenu said.
“In any normal accident, you will be looking at insurance; you will be looking at the compensation that will paid to the victims of the accident and that’s the primary concern of the association,” he added.
Mr Agbenu, who is also the editor of Ghanaian Times where the late Nuamah worked, said the GJA would at the planned meeting be finding out how safe journalists are being transported on presidential assignment, especially in this election season
Safety of journalists not GJA’s responsibility
He argued the GJA is concerned about the safety of journalists, it is not its duty because that rest with the employers and those who invite them for their programmes.
“It is not our business to provide safety for presidential press corps,” he said, explaining that it is the presidency that provides vehicle for the movement of the press corps, adding “I will imagine that things have been put right and to ensure their safety. “We actually appreciate that anybody who picks a journalist in their car will ensure their safety,” he added, but also urged journalists “to protect themselves from any harm”.
Meanwhile, the presidential press corps including some of the victims of the accident, today visited the Osu Cemetery in Accra where the late Nuamah was buried, for a short wreath-laying and commemoration ceremony