Reporters from SKYY POWER FM in Takoradi who were at the market circle last Saturday to cover the National Sanitation Day (NSD) clean-up exercise claim they were prevented from covering the event.
The journalists alleged that they were sacked from the place by the police on the orders of the Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo.
They claimed that not only were they prevented from carrying out their legitimate duties, but they were also manhandled by the police in the full glare of the regional minister and his deputy, Alfred Ekow Gyan, for no apparent reason.
The May edition of the NSD exercise took place nationwide last Saturday.
In the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, the focus was at the Takoradi market circle.
According to the reporters from the radio station, as at 9:15 am no major activities were ongoing at the market circle when they got to the place.
Only a few market women were seen doing the clean-up.
Narrating the ordeal in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, Eric Gyetuah, one of the reporters, indicated that Mr Paul Evans Aidoo and his entourage arrived at the market circle at about 9:30 am.
Gyetuah said astonished by the state of affairs, the regional minister and his deputy purchased some brooms for the market women who were complaining of lack of logistics.
He said when the exercise finally began at about 10:55 am, reporters, the minister and his entourage started monitoring it.
Gyetuah mentioned that to the surprise of everybody around, midway the exercise, the regional minister angrily asked the SKYY POWER FM reporters to stop covering the exercise.
The minister allegedly ordered a police officer to ensure that the directive was complied with.
“Yes, the police were ordered to throw us out from national sanitation day exercise, in other words, not to allow us to cover the event,” the dejected reporter added.
Gyetuah continued that since reporters from the radio station were the only journalists following the exercise by then, one of them decided to confront the regional minister and ask why he gave such a directive.
He stated, “Before the reporter could get closer to the minister, the police officer was already hooking the neck of the reporter, pushing him to vanish from the scene.”
Mr Evans Aidoo was said to have angrily charged, ‘Who are you? Are you a supervisor? What is your mission here? I am giving you only five minutes. Get out of this place or else I will order the police to throw you out.’
Gyetuah told DAILY GUIDE that when the reporter insisted that he wanted to know why they (SKYY reporters) were being sacked from the place, “the police officer held my neck and forced me out.”
“The reporters, out of frustration, left the market circle without covering the exercise.”
Calls from DAILY GUIDE to the regional minister did not go through, but he failed to reply messages sent to him.
Meanwhile, reporters of the private media in the region had resolved to boycott the sanitation exercise.
According to them, they would rescind their decision only when the regional minister apologised.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi
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