Manasseh Azure Awuni has outlined three significant times in the last six years that the leadership of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has gone with the accounts of others, as against those of its members.
According to the anti-corruption journalist, the GJA, currently led by Affail Monney, has done everything differently from how past leaders like Gifty Afanyi-Dadzie and Ransford Tetteh.
Reacting to the President of the GJA, Roland Affail Monney's statement on the arrest of two journalists from Accra-based Citi Fm/Citi TV by some National Security operatives from what is believed to have been an unlawful videoing of one of their installments in Accra, Manasseh listed out three times similar things have happened.
He lists the events from 2015 till the most recent one only days ago in this year, 2021.
"2015: Samuel Nuamah of Ghanaian times died in presidential press corps accident. The vehicle and its driver, according to the journalists on board the vehicle, had issues and they had complained about before the accident. The presidency gave a different account.
"The GJA President said he believed the account of the presidency over the journalists. I asked him whether he was doubting the account of the reporter from his own newsroom, Napoleon Ato Kittoe, who was on board the vehicle. He said Napoleon Ato Kittoe was sleeping so he didn't really see what happened.
"2017: The GJA issued a press statement against the Robbing the Assemblies documentary I did on the Jospong Group. Without stating any journalistic ethic I broke, the GJA said I was destroying a local company. That investigation led to the cancellation of a $74 million contract.
"2021: After the National Security arrested and beat up Caleb Kudah of Citi FM for going to film vehicles that had been procured with the tax payers' money and left to rust, the GJA President says he broke the GJA Code of Ethics because his motive was not clear.
"Of course, Roland Affail Monney could not be referring to the Code of Ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association. Maybe, that code of ethics belongs to the Ghana Jokers Association.
"The GJA under Gifty Afanyi-Dadzie or Ransford Tetteh was not like this," he wrote.
The multiple-award-winning journalist also lamented the quality of the leadership of the GJA, questioning how it is that they are still at post after their tenure was supposed to have ended this year.
He also wrote that he was happy that unlike associations like the Ghana Bar Association, no one is forced to join the GJA, stating that the leadership of the former doesn't prove to its members why they should continue to believe in them.
"Fortunately, the GJA is not like the Ghana Bar Association. Being a member is not compulsory. I stopped being a member of the association when I was convinced its leadership was working against the interest of journalists and the journalists generally do not care about who leads them. If you demand accountability, you're tagged as arrogant or accused of hating.
"The tenure of current GJA executive expired in 2020. For whatever reasons, they are holding on to power. This has resulted in a court action. Until seriousness returns to the association one day, it is better to stay aloof and practice without the expectation of a professional body representing your interest," he said.
Source: Manasseh Azure Awuni
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