Media end boycott of Minister over assault on journalist

The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), in consultation with its media partners, including the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), has revoked the media blackout it imposed on the Minister for Fisheries and Aqua Culture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson.

The GJA imposed a media blackout on the Minister, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu-Senya East, after thugs wearing shirts branded with her pictures, attacked a journalist, on January 4, 2024. The thugs attacked David Kobenna, a morning show host of Cape FM, during the vetting of persons aspiring to contest for parliamentary seats in Ghana’s upcoming general elections in December, on the ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Cape Coast, capital of the Central Region of Ghana.

The incident forced the GJA to issue a media boycott call against the minister, which the MFWA staunchly supported. However, on February 15, 2024, Ms. Koomson, accompanied by the Minister-designate for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, engaged the GJA to seek an amicable settlement. The meeting was attended by representatives of the key media actors in Ghana including the Private Newspapers and Online News Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the Parliamentary Press Corps, and the New Media Association.

According to a release from the GJA signed by its General Secretary Kofi Yeboah, the decision to end the media blackout on Ms. Koomson followed her pledge, supported by the Minister-Designate for Information, to help ensure justice for the attacked journalist.

A similar blackout on Farouk Aliu Mahama, the MP for Yendi in the Northern Region of Ghana, however, remains in force, according to the release.

 The blackout was imposed on Mr Mahama for his alleged assault of Mohammed Aminu M. Alabira, the Northern Regional correspondent of Citi FM/TV, during the ruling party’s parliamentary primaries, on January 27, 2024.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) commends Ms. Hawa Koomson and her colleague the Minister-designate for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, for taking the gracious initiative to engage the leadership of the media on the issue. We salute the resolute support journalists and the media accorded the boycott in solidarity with David Kobenna. Justice for the assaulted journalist is the ultimate, and we hope that the Minister will redeem her promise to support efforts to ensure appropriate redress.

Read the GJA Release here.

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