We have followed the assault case against the Gyans and the eventual withdrawal of same by the complainant, Daniel Kenu. The complainant’s decision is his cup of tea and we do not intend to delve into its merit or otherwise.
Although we do appreciate the trauma suffered by the Gyans following the disappearance of Castro and Janet Bandu and the verbal assaults from a cross-section of Ghanaians, we do not subscribe to the physical reaction from one of them on a journalist.
We maintain our disdain for the assault on journalists by those who consider news reports unfavourable to their cause as it happened during the ill-fated press conference and the assault on the reporter by one of the Gyans.
Our stance on the matter notwithstanding, we find it regrettable that the Gyans’ case has been overshadowed by the more obscene cases of assaults on journalists by public officials. That this is happening at a time when we pride ourselves as beacons of civility in the West African sub-region is mindboggling.
With over a hundred testimonies about the anomaly, we do not come anywhere near this status, especially since the actions have been perpetrated at the instance of government appointees.
Whatever happened to Okoe Vanderpuije, the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), after he ordered the brutal treatment of a journalist?
There has been what we consider a restricted commentary on the subject; and we think this is unacceptable and would not be in the interest of our national development.
Government appointees who have a lot to hide will do all they can to prevent journalists from bringing to light the contents of their closets.
We would be receding many light years in our democratic ranking if we continued to countenance these acts of barbarism at the hands of those who should know better.
President Mahama has a lot to do in the campaign against the assault on journalists as epitomised by the AMA Chief. It has been over a fortnight now since we composed our last commentary on the subject and as if to stand by the action, nothing has come in the form of an apology from the AMA chief.
Unless we are being told that President Mahama has given his nod to the assault on journalists, he should act immediately; otherwise we shall continue to be named and shamed as a country in which media persons are beaten for exposing corruption and bad governance.
The assault on journalists is not limited to politicians in the corridors of power. Some judges are known to misuse their awesome powers to suppress the dissemination of information uncharitable to them.
President Mahama is reported to have acknowledged the role of the American media in exposing malfeasance in that society, yet keeps mute when his country’s journalists are assaulted by his appointees. That sounds hypocritical in our estimation.