The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has condemned the alleged assault on a radio presenter with Tamale-based Dagbon FM, Sadiq Gariba, by a former Northern Regional Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Hardi Pagzaa.
Sadiq Gariba was attacked during a live radio programme on May 5, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day.
In a video circulating on social media, Mr. Pagzaa and one other man were seen storming the studio of Dagbon Radio.
The two men held up the presenter who was at the point hosting a show and threatened to slap him if he makes a comment.
Reacting to this on Eyewitness News with Umaru Sanda Amadu, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, cautioned that the association will not countenance such acts on journalists in the country under his leadership.
“I want to use your platform to condemn this act. We have said countless times that under the current administration, no attack on journalists will be spared or go scot-free. We have made it clear that we will go the extra mile to protect the interest of journalists in this country,” Albert Kwabena Dwumfour cautioned.
The GJA President said it was wrong for the NDC former Northern Regional Communications Officer to have rushed to the studio to assault the journalist.
“We are aware that Sadiq Gariba has suffered some injuries here and there, but we thank God that he is safe. He was just doing his job and he told his attacker not to use the Dagbon chieftaincy issue to gain political advantage. He did not attack the person of Hardi Pagzaa, if you don’t agree with him, you have the right to issue a rejoinder or seek clarification based on the relationship you have with the station. But not to go to the studio to attack a journalist, it was extreme,” he slammed Hardi Pagzaa.
He indicated that the Association has referred the matter to a lawyer adding that the association has also made a complaint to the police.
“Though the party has condemned the act and disassociated itself from it, we think it’s commendable, it’s a good step, but we still think that there’s more they can do. On our part at the national level, as we speak now we have referred the case to a lawyer, this is the reason why Journalists’ Support Fund was launched to protect the rights and freedom of journalists. The legal team has taken up the matter. We have also made a complaint to the police, and we have also petitioned the regional minister. It’s worrying that the incident happened the day we celebrated World Press Freedom Day,” he noted.
Dwumfour appealed to the NDC hierarchy to take action against their members involved in such acts.
“We will appeal to the NDC national disciplinary committee to take action on the matter,” he said.