NEED FOR SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR JOURNALISTS

NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE GRUESOME ASSASSINATION OF UNDERCOVER JOURNALIST AHMED HUSSEIN-SUALE
Ghana once again has witnessed sophisticated atrocity against a journalist. This time, perhaps what could be best described as unwarranted, shameful, coward, barbaric and gruesome assassination of one of the promising and well-endowed investigative journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale. He was reported to have been shot three times by unidentified hit men on motorbikes January 16 last Wednesday evening  in what is described as “Hollywood style”. Mr. Hussein-Suale was a key member of the renowned private investigative team Tiger Eye PI which has overwhelming record of successful investigations to uncover high-level national and international criminal activities including the infamous corruption within Ghana and some African football leagues.
The media and the nation in general including the President of the land received the news with shock and  dismay, wondering what might have instigated such a reprehensible killing. Such atrocities against journalists in Ghana are becoming one too many in recent years and need to be halted. The killing of Confidence K. Baah, who worked for the Kessben Media in Kumasi. The death of Portia Amma Agyeiwaaa a journalist who worked with Dess FM at Bekwai in the Ashanti Region and former Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, Samuel Kwabena Ennin who was also murdered in cold blood at a popular spot at Pankrono Estate in Kumasi some years  ago. Other forms of abuse and molestations of Ghanaian journalists are uncountable.
Just like all these, Mr. Hussein-Suale’s murder has attracted wide national and international condemnations coming from President Akufo-Addo, former President, John Mahama and institutions such as the Ghana Journalists Association, National Media Commission, International Press Institute among others. Despite authorities, media organisations, civil society organisation, and other stakeholders in the media loudly espousing the urgent need for press freedom in the country, such primitive and barbaric attacks continue to be meted out to journalists in the country. The incident is particularly sad and horrendous as it appeared to be well planned, rehearsed and executed, according to reports.
The work of the journalist all over the world is considered as one of the most dangerous among other known professions. This is primarily due to the fact that the journalist owes it as a committed duty to expose evil doings in society. By so doing they incur the displeasure of the masses especially people of influence and power who have skeletons in their cupboards. The need for the state to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference cannot be overemphasised.
Media owners must also ensure better and safer plans for their workers as whatever be the case, journalists cannot stop providing the society with what they need to know. The cameras must continue to capture the images, the microphones must continue to pick up the sounds while the pens continue scribbling for the benefit of the masses. These must be done without fear. The absolute end to such impunities and crimes against Journalists in this country is therefore imperative.
The perpetrators of this act must bow their heads in shame for treating such a brilliant journalist as an enemy and cruelly cut short his  life. Journalists are definitely not enemies but rather friends who profoundly help shape the development of the nation. In the words of former President John Mahama, “journalists must not be murdered in cold blood for the work they do”.  It is believed that calls by the GJA and other institutions on the President to show extra interest in the matter, by way of, swift delivery of justice will be done, as he has accordingly tasked the state institutions to, “bring the perpetrators to book as soon as possible”.
Although the life of Ahmed Hussein-Suale has been unduly and painfully shortened by his haters, his legacies vividly live on for he will rest from his labour and his deeds will follow him.
BY NANA SIFA TWUM, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT –  LONDON

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