The President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, has imposed a blackout order on Hawa Koomson, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Awutu Senya East constituency in the Central Region who is also the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture.
This means the programmes and activities of the Minister will not be covered by the media.
The imposition comes after efforts to bring the perpetrators of an assault on David Kobina, a journalist with Cape FM in the Central Region during the NPP’s parliamentary aspirant vetting, to justice failed.
At a press conference on January 25, the GJA said, “We submitted written petitions to the NPP with some demands, and the deadline has long passed, but we regret to announce that nothing has been done, and we are forced to advise ourselves in the light of the cold silence.”
Delivering its final decision after a snub by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the President urged media houses to grant a total blackout on activities of the Minister since she has been proven to have thugs around her.
“Considering the unabated cases of attacks against journalists and other media practitioners in recent times and the intel we have picked, and having consulted with our partner institutions, we call for all media houses to give a total media blackout to Mavis Hawa Koomson and stay away from her as the minister of state because we believe there are thugs around the MP who pose a threat to the lives of journalists and other media practitioners.”
Meanwhile, the Minister insists on having no hand in the alleged assault.
“While unequivocally condemning the reported incident, the Honourable Minister vehemently denies all accusations levelled against her and her associates. Acknowledging the vital role of the media in our democracy, the Minister is committed to fostering an environment that safeguards journalists in their duty,” Kabore, Awudu Moro, press secretary to the MP said.
It has appealed for a reconsideration of the decision by the Association.
“The Honourable Minister urges the GJA leadership to reconsider the blacklisting decision, emphasizing the absence of evidence implicating her in the incident. The Minister calls for trust in the Ghana Police Service’s ongoing investigation to apprehend the alleged attacker.”
He added, “In the spirit of collaboration, the Office of the Honourable Minister will initiate a dialogue with the GJA leadership in the coming days to address any misunderstandings and chart a way forward, fostering a constructive relationship between the Minister and the media.”