NPP-Canada Condemns Assault On Journalist By Presidential Aide

caNPP-Canada has heard with shock and dismay a most disconcerting story regarding the treatment of a Journalist by an Aide to the President of Ghana, Mr. John Mahama. The story was discussed on the Saturday, September 5 edition of JoyFM’s Newsfile program.

The Aide and Presidential Staffer was identified as Mr. Stan Dogbe. The assaulted Journalist, an employee of the State Broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, has been identified as Mr. Yahaya Kwamoah.

The story, as we understand it, is that while going about his journalistic duties at the 37 Military Hospital, Mr. Kwamoah attempted, and probably succeeded in recording a conversation between Mr. Dogbe and Dr. Omane-Boamah who is a cabinet minister in the government of President John Mahama.

It was when Mr. Dogbe got wind of this act by the Journalist that he was said to have rushed after the poor Journalist in a threatening manner, seized his audio recording device, and violently smashed it and thereby destroyed the recorder completely. This incident reportedly took place on Thursday, August 20, 2015.

NPP-Canada hereby condemns the aforementioned conduct, better still misconduct, by the President’s Aide in the strongest possible terms.

This is the second time in less than six months that NPP-Canada has had cause to issue a statement condemning the misconduct of Aides of President John Mahama. The first was when in May 2015, another Aide to the President, Alhaji Halidu Haruna, descended heavily on female celebrities and referred to them as “prostitutes”. The “crime” of these women, in the view of Alhaji Haruna”, was that they had dared to publicly appeal to President Mahama to end the dumsor crises.

As far as NPP-Canada is aware, Alhaji Haruna was never sanctioned by President Mahama for his vitriolic insult on the women celebrities. Just as NPP-Canada never expected any sanctions then by President Mahama against Alhaji Haruna, NPP-Canada is not holding its breath now in the fruitless anticipation that President Mahma might sanction his Aide, Mr. Stan Dogbe.

Any Ghanaian at all could fall victim to acts of impunity by unelected officials enjoying the protection of the President. It is against this backdrop that NPP-Canada calls on well-meaning Ghanaians to not be passive and restrained but to express their outrage at and abhorrence of such unwarranted and demeaning acts by persons close to the highest elected office of the land. It is instructive for all to pay heed to that evergreen quote by Emperor Haile Selassie (reproduced below):

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph”. – Emperor Haile Selassie

If we would have been outraged and appalled and condemning had the above-mentioned incidents occurred in some other countries not particularly noted for their regard for press freedoms and respect for the dignity of women, should we be any less outraged, any less appalled, any less condemning when they take place in President John Mahama’s Ghana?