Senegal: Ghanaian President replies to journalists' petition

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, has responded to a petition by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and 155 Ghanaian journalists seeking disciplinary action against a senior presidential staffer, Stan Dogbe.

In a statement, obtained by PANA in Dakar, Senegal, on Tuesday, MFWA said it had received a letter from the Secretary to the President, Mr. Kwesi Quartey, indicating President Mahama’s receipt of the petition and acknowledgement of the concerns raised by the petitioners.

''I acknowledge receipt of your letter, dated 14th October, 2015, addressed to His Excellency the President on the above subject. His Excellency has taken note of the concerns raised in the letter. He wishes me to assure the Media Foundation that due attention would be paid to the matter in the interest of protecting the reputation of the Presidency,” the letter from the President’s secretary stated.

According to MFWA, the petition was filed in October 2015 following Mr. Dogbe’s attack on Mr. Yahayah Kwamoah, a journalist with the state-owned Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

In the process, the presidential staffer was said to have seized and instantly destroyed a digital recorder belonging to the journalist.

After the attack, the MFWA issued a statement calling on Ghana's President to sanction his staffer as a way of demonstrating his intolerance of impunity for crimes against journalists and as a way of protecting the reputation of the Presidency.

Subsequently, the MFWA was joined by 155 journalists to petition the President on the matter.

The press freedom body said it was pleased that the President has promised to pay attention to the very important issues raised by the petitioners.

“We are happy that the Presidency appreciates the fact that Mr. Dogbe’s action has an impact on the reputation of the Presidency,” remarked Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the MFWA.

''It has been almost four months since Mr. Dodge committed the embarrassing act and one would have expected a swift action from the President to safeguard the reputation of his high office. I hope that the promise by the President to deal with the matter will not remain just a promise. I hope he will take action soon.''

''We reiterate our concern that the conduct of Mr Dogbe has a direct bearing on the reputation of the office of the President and the safety of journalists in Ghana. It is our hope that the expectation of the petitioners will be duly addressed,'' the statement concluded.
-0- PANA MLJ/VAO 26Jan2016

26 january 2016 15:44:14

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