Interior Minister apologises for assault of 3 Ghanaian Times journalists

The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery has apologised for the assault on three journalists with the Ghanaian Times by some police personnel in Accra on Thursday, March 14.

According to him the incident which could have been prevented also reflected some of the inherent challenges confronting a number of agencies under his ministry which government was currently working to address.

The Minister rendered the apology during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the 2018 annual review meeting of the ministry in Accra yesterday.

He said it was an unfortunate incident which must not be countenanced and that everything would be done to get to the bottom of the matter to ensure that it never occurred again.

Mr Dery noted that the media constituted an important partner in the development of the country, therefore there should be no situation that would paint the picture as though the state was in a fight with journalists.  

“We are partners and need not to be fighting, if we are fighting then “hallelluya” for the criminals because they will say we have more anonymity and have more darkness to operate in, so I want to say on behalf of the ministry and that of the President that we apologise for whatever my sector agencies might have done against the media,” he affirmed.

He said it was important to emphasise that collectively, Ghanaians as a people were more alive and questioning the actions and inactions of those entrusted with the power to govern all because of the media.

However, the Minister said we must all agree that as a country we have failed over the years to invest adequately in state security agencies to bring them to the standards that we all desire and that is why we continue to witness some of these occurrences.

“Look let’s all come to the agreement that as a country we have not invested as much as we should in the security of our country. I am not being one sided and that is what we need to do. Let me give you an example; an incident happened recently about a police officer going to sit in a car and then there was some assault on the officer. But when we get to where we have to as much as the police are concerned, the police will not have to sit in people’s cars but will have the necessary communication equipment that will enable them communicate across,” he explained.

He said the provision of equipment and the professionalism being built, the police witnessed a lot of improvement in 2018 adding that “But you will agree with me that the first two months of this year was a hell of a time but we dealt with it. We are not satisfied though but the point needs to be made that we are being proactive, he emphasized.

In a related development the Trades Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana has also condemned attacks on journalists and media personnel over the years and called for proactive actions from government to secure their safety. 

According to Mr Joshua Ansah, the Deputy Secretary General of the Union, assaults on journalists had become rampant and that there was the need for government to find ways to end the brutalities. 

Mr Ansah said journalists play vital role in the day to day activities of every organisation through the provision of vital information.

He said without journalists, peace will be difficult to attain and information flow would be low-slung and that is why the government must take keen interest in the protection of journalists to guarantee a safe environment for their work.

By Cliff Ekuful

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