A journalist with Accra-based Top FM has claimed that he was assaulted by members of pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) group, The Hawks, at the party’s Youth and Women’s Conference on Saturday.
Emmanuel Sackey, narrating the incident on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, said that he was assaulted while he sought an interview with the newly-elected deputy Youth Organiser of the NDC, Edem Agbana.
“Last Saturday, I was assigned to cover the NDC National Youth and Women’s Conference and I had interactions with some of the dignitaries and candidates. At the end of the programme, as usual as a journalist, I always want exclusives for my listeners so I tried to interview Edem Agbana.”
According to Mr Sackey, he was accosted by men in Hawks shirts who told him he would not be allowed to interview Edem Agbana.
However, having been assured by Mr. Agbana’s aide that he would be granted the interview he continued to follow the team until he was attacked.
“He told me that he would not allow me to do the interview but Edem told me not to mind him. Edem took me away and when we were going, his party people came to him and he interacted with them. One of his aides asked me to wait so I waited with him. When they were done, the aide brought Edem but the same guy came back and said that he would allow me to do the interview.
“He asked me what was wrong with me and before I realised, a blow landed on my mouth and nose and I started bleeding. He started punching me in the face. I’m in pains at the moment, my mouth is swollen and from that night, I used a handkerchief which was soaked with blood. This is not the first time but this time I was beaten mercilessly.”
No deliberate attempt to harm journalist
Speaking on the same show, Edem Agbana said that despite repeatedly denying the request for an interview because he lost his voice due to previous commitments, the journalist kept following him.
He stated that his security, who were trying to keep the crowd that was milling around him following the declaration of results, pushed part of the crowd, including the journalist aside.
“I declined the interview all the way from the top. I had walked almost out of the hall. I didn’t know that he was still following me. There was a crowd around me. He was forcing his way into the crowd to get an interview and in the process, he got pushed by somebody. He wasn’t the only one. It wasn’t a deliberate attempt to beat the journalist who was trying to get an interview.”
Edem Agbana said that he had called the journalist to apologise for the incident but added that the matter had been blown out of proportion.
Journalist attacked by Mahama’s security
This comes a day after the office of former President John Mahama apologised for the alleged assault of a Joy FM reporter by a member of John Mahama’s security detail.
The reporter, Kwesi Parker Wilson, was said to have been slapped by the security personnel on Monday whiles covering Mr. Mahama’s campaign to be National Democratic Congress flagbearer (NDC) at the Pentecost University as part of his five-day tour of the Greater Accra Region.
The incident left Mr. Wislon with bruises and swelling on the right side of his face, according to Joy FM.
Mr. Mahama’s office in a short statement said the former president had reached out to the reporter to offer his apologies.
In the meantime, the statement assured that the matter was being investigated.
“Our attention has been drawn to an unfortunate incident involving a security personnel and a reporter from Joy FM, Mr. Kwesi Parker Wilson, during our meeting with delegates today at the Pentecost University College in the Anya Sowutuom constituency.”
“The in-charge of security has been informed and the matter us duly being investigated. In the meantime, former President John Dramani Mahama, has offered his personal apologies to Mr. Parker Wilson for the unfortunate incident.”
Attacks on journalists during political party events have been recorded a few times, and the two main parties are often guilty.
In the early part of 2018, a known member of the NPP, Hajia Fati, also attacked a journalist of the Multimedia group.