July 25, 2024
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Assault on journalists: This isn’t your ‘chooboi’ moment, fix the problem – Lecturer to Information Minister

Associate Professor at Ashesi University, Maame Abena Siem Mensa-Bonsu is unenthused by the assertions of the Associate Professor at Ashesi University, Maame Abena Siem Mensa-Bonsu for action to curb the increasing trend of assaults against journalists in Ghana.

Dr. Mensa-Bonsu described his speech as useless and believed that the Minister was only preaching to the choir.

This follows calls by the Information Minister for Parliament and the public to hold the Judiciary and the police accountable, particularly in the wake of reported attacks on journalists.

According to the Minister, there has been a distressing trend where cases reported to the police and presented in courts have stalled without visible progress.

“Increasingly, various actors in our society – state actors, non-state actors, political party operatives, assigns of businesses and everyday citizens are resorting to attacks and intimidation of journalists as a means of expressing their displeasure,” the Information Minister said.

But speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, November 11, the Constitutional Theorists at Ashesi University indicated that the Minister must redirect his charge to Cabinet to provide actionable plans to safeguard journalists’ rights.

“The Minister, the speech he made he should have made it in Cabinet. And then after he’s made the speech, the people the cabinet ministers should have responded ‘Chooboi’ and sat down and come up with an action plan for this coordinated mechanism that includes all of the ministers whose portfolios these institutions fall under. And they should have come up with a plan from within the government when he speaks to the people is not a ‘chooboi’. When he speaks to the people. He’s coming to tell us how he’s doing his job. How the government is doing its job.”

Dr Mensah-Bonsu insists that the obligation of the government in dealing with this development is clear-cut and must be held accountable rather than propagating rhetoric.

Addressing the Information Minister’s speech, she reiterated; “Who’s the subject in the passive voice statements that government officials make when they say things like that people who are responsible for it should be held accountable… by who?”

“Who is running the police forces, who’s running the security forces, who are these people we must go to to hold the forces accountable? So I didn’t find it useful… It sounds nice, but it’s just the person slapping me telling me how bad it is that I’m getting slapped,” she added.

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