The umbrella body of journalists, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has made a blacklist declaration on the Member of Parliament (MP) for Yendi, Farouk Aliu Mahama, banning all media houses to make their platforms available to the lawmaker.

According to the Association, any media house who will disregard the directive will have the blood of any journalist who may be killed during this period on their head.

This follows an alleged assault on Citi News’ Northern Regional Reporter, Mohammed Aminu M. Alabira.

The unfortunate incident occurred during the coverage of the chaos that disrupted the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primary in the Yendi constituency on January 27. Farouk Mahama and his team allegedly unleashed mayhem on Alabira, causing widespread outrage and condemnation.

The GJA, as the umbrella body for journalists in Ghana, condemned the assault in the strongest possible terms.
In a statement released at a press conference on Tuesday, the association called for an immediate investigation into the incident and demanded that appropriate disciplinary action be taken against Farouk Aliu Mahama and his team.

The Northern Regional Police command is currently investigating the issue.

A joint press conference by the GJA, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), and the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) on February 6 said, “That all media houses must BLACKLIST and offer Farouk Aliu Mahama no media coverage, interview, etc. as the MP for Yendi and any other state position he holds until further notice. We want you to know that apart from him being insensitive to the work of journalists (as demonstrated during the Parliamentary Primaries), there are vigilantes around him who may harm you. So, just steer clear of him and his thugs.”

They entreated journalists to adhere to the directive.

“My Colleagues, it is our hope that all media houses will rally behind our call and ensure that they adhere to the directives. This is in our shared interest.”

“Any media house which violates the BLACKLIST declaration believing that their staff will not be attacked and goes ahead to offer their platforms to Farouk Aliu Mahama, the blood of any journalist who will be killed during this period will be on the head of owners and management of such media houses,” the GJA President said.

The GJA called on the Ghana Police Service to speed up investigations into the case and arraign the perpetrators before the court to face the full rigours of the law.

GJA also has given the New Patriotic Party (NPP) a ten-day ultimatum to hear from them, threatening to advise themselves if they fail.

“We are giving the NPP, Regional and National, and the Ghana Police Service ten (10) days ultimatum each to hear from them. They should arrest the perpetrators. If they fail, we shall advise ourselves.”

The assault on Alabira is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by journalists in Ghana. It is a call to action for authorities to ensure the safety of journalists, allowing them to carry out their duties without impediments or fear of reprisals.

As the investigation unfolds, the GJA and media organizations will closely monitor the situation, ensuring that justice is served and the rights of journalists are protected. This incident serves as a critical turning point in the fight against assaults on journalists and emphasizes the need for accountability and respect for press freedom in Ghana.

The Ghana Journalists Association is determined to pursue justice for Mohammed Alabira and work towards creating an environment where journalists can fulfill their responsibilities without fear or hindrance.

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