By Agnes Ansah .
Three weeks after the demise and burial and funeral rites for the late Ahmed Suale, a Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist, the Ghana Journalists Association has also decided to organise a Memorial Service to eulogise the deceased, while drawing the public’s attention to the unwarranted attacks on the media.
The event is also intended to draw people from other parts of the country to solidarise with the media in its quest to end attacks on journalists.
A statement signed by Mr Roland Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), indicated that the event will take place at the Ghana International Press Center at 10:00am today, and would require every individual who would be there to put on either a black attire with a red arm band, or red attire with a black arm band.
Dignitaries, including the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the leadership of the National Media Commission, Ghana Police Service, National Peace Council, Amnesty International and civil society organisations are expected to grace the occasion.
The GJA has also extended invitations to all heads of media houses, training institutions, senior and young journalists, media practitioners and the general public to attend the event.
Leaders of political parties, ministers of state, members of Parliament, heads of state and private institutions, members of the diplomatic corps, public relations practitioners and friends of the media are also invited to participate in the event, the statement said.
The clergy were not left outm as the GJA also extended invitations to representatives from the Muslim, Christian and Pentecostal councils, as well as the Catholic Bishops Conference.
It would be recalled that Mr Suale died on Wednesday, 16 January 2019, when unidentified men on a motorbike shot at him three times, twice in the chest and once in his neck, in his vehicle at Madina in Accra. The incident gained both local and international attention, and has been condemned by many.
The GJA has since been clamouring for support from the citizenry by issuing statements and organising events to attract the attention the security services in the country to act to ensure the safety of its members.
On Monday, the group held a press conference to deliberate on the security and safety of journalists in the country, where they invited some security experts and seasoned journalists to speak on the issue.
In order to put pressure on the government and security agencies to demand justice for the slain journalist, as well as other attacks on journalists in the country, it has commenced the ‘Black Wednesday’ initiative.
“Black Wednesday” starts on Wednesday 20th February and every Wednesday after its commencement.
Mr Roland Affail Monney said: “The country’s commitment to press freedom earned it the number one position on press freedom in Africa, and 23rd in the world, and the world’s attention was on Ghana for all the good reasons.”
“But, today, the story is different and terrifying. Since the hosting of the WPF Day in May, journalists have come under avalanches of attacks, with the police and politicians leading it.
“This has drawn the world’s attention again to the country again, but for bad reasons.”
He said the fight for the safety of journalists is one of the arsenals the GJA is unleashing to resist the ferocious attacks against the media industry.