MTA journalist’s killing a blot on Ghana’s image

On Friday, the Ghana Police Service, in a statement, announced the killing of a journalist from the London-based television channel, MTA International, on August 23 by armed robbers on the Kintampo-Buipe stretch of the highway leading to Tamale.

Taalay Ahmed and his colleague, Umaru Abdul Hakim, in the country to work on a documentary, were attacked at Mpaha Junction when they were among a crew on a vehicle around 7p.m.

The robbers shot at the vehicle indiscriminately, wounded the two and robbed occupants of their mobile phones and money.

The wounded were first treated at the Buipe Polyclinic and transferred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital, where Ahmed was pronounced dead on arrival.

Upon hearing of the incident, the police at Buipe moved in but the robbers had fled. However, the police did not relent in their efforts to pursue the criminals.

It is good news that the police caught up with the suspected robbers who engaged them in exchange of gunshots, at the end of which two of the suspected robbers were killed and four others arrested.

The Director-General of the Police Public Affairs Department, Assistant Commissioner of Police Kwesi Ofori, disclosed to the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview yesterday that preliminary investigations had revealed that the suspects were behind many robberies, including the killing of MTA’s Ahmed.

The Ghanaian Times commends the police in swiftly smoking out the national peace wreckers.

The paper is also glad that the Police Administration says it has instituted some vigorous measures to effectively combat serious crimes that have plagued the area of the current incident and elsewhere across the country over the past few years.

Without trying to question the competence of the police because criminals always try to outwit the police, the paper believes that some of such incidents could be prevented if nothing is left to chance or neglected in policing in an area that has been characterised by growing robbery incidents.

The killing of the journalist would definitely go on record, not because he was based in London but because the death of every journalist on the line of duty is recorded for various reasons.

For instance, a country can be classified as being a dangerous place for journalists and that does not stop there because depending on whatever interpretations others give of the incident or the perception they develop about it, the relevant country can suffer in one way or another.

It is worthy of note that Ahmed’s death would forever be mentioned together with the naming of Ghana as where it occurred, which is a blot on the country’s image.

The Ghanaian Times would, therefore, like to suggest that since robbers hold the view that people arriving from abroad carry a lot of money, there should come a time when such people or groups make special arrangements with the police for dedicated security, even if at a charge.

Also, the home-based Ghanaians who serve them must have their identities made known to the police in advance for them to do some advance background checks. Who knows if the attack on Ahmed and others followed an inside tip-off?

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