The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) has condemned an attack on a regional reporter for state-owned newspaper, Daily Graphic.
According to the newspaper, Della Russel Ocloo on Sunday escaped being physically attacked by some agitated members of the Glorious Way Church owned by Prophet Badu Kobi at Sakumono
“Unable to physically attack her for what they described as ‘intrusion’, the members of the church accosted the reporter, threatened to beat her and later called in the police who surprisingly arrested her and sent her to the police station,” the newspaper reported.
Ms Ocloo had gone to the church to cover a protest march by members of the 1000 Women’s March in a bid to find out the church leader’s reaction to the women’s peaceful demonstration against his controversial comment about Asante, Fante and Ewe women and how they behave in marriages.
Reacting to the incident in a press release, the Tema Regional GJA said: “We consider the attempt by the church members to attack her reprehensible and uncivilized way of addressing such a case in a democratic dispensation.”
Read the full statement below.
TEMA REGIONAL GJA CONDEMNS ATTACK ON GRAPHIC REPORTER AND DEMANDS INVESTIGATION INTO THE CASE.
The Ghana Journalists Association, GJA has received with pain in our hearts and afflictions to our souls another attack on a journalist who was on her constitutionally permitted duty in the interest of the nation.
Della Russell Ocloo, Tema Regional Correspondent of the Graphic Communications Group Limited was on Sunday 4th August 2019, allegedly attacked and molested by some agitated members of the Glorious Way Church pastored by embattled Prophet Badu Kobi at Sakumono in the Tema West Municipality.
According to Della, she went to the church to follow up on a protest march by members of the 1000 Women’s March in a bid to find out the Pastor’s reaction to the backlash flowing from his denigrating comments against Asante, Fante and Ewe women.
We consider the attempt by the church members to attack her reprehensible and uncivilized way of addressing such a case in a democratic dispensation.
Mob injustice has been a grave cancer wreaking havoc on innocent lives and so for members of a church professing to be worshipers of a merciful and forgiving God to engage in an act as narrated by the journalist can at best be described as unchristian, ungodly and an affront to the Holy word of God.
We urge the Christian Community, Christian Council of Ghana, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Groupings to call Pastor Badu Kobi and his congregation to order and guide them to the narrow path of righteousness.
What even pierced the soul of the GJA is the harrowing attempt by a woman of the church to use a club fixed with nails to attack Della.
The Association in Tema is sad that despite numerous efforts with stakeholders and appeals to citizens to end attacks on journalists the dastardly act stills persist.
The conduct of the police personnel to the scene also leaves much to be desired.
We are constantly reminded of the phrase “the police is your friend”. However the practice on the ground in terms of police-civilians relations is nothing to be proud of.
Why should the police struggle with a harmless lady to seize her phone and bag? Why was she forced to write a statement when she was insisting on having her lawyer present before such an action?
We condemn the attempted attack on Della and call for a full investigation into the case.
GJA wants to know the role of the police in the entire narrative and why personnel were unprofessional in handling the case. What informed the police decision to detain the reporter? The Association demands answers.
The GJA hereby encourage journalists to be safety conscious in the performance of their duties.
Tema GJA Chairman