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Should associations always come to the defence of their members?

GJA President Roland Affail Monney  ..png President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr. Affail Monney

Mon, 17 May 2021 Source: Osei Tutu

When the president of the Ghana Journalists Association, Mr. Affail Monney, gave an initial comment on Caleb Kudah's issue, that he thought it was unethical to take photographs of security installation without authorisation but that the security operatives' handling of the journalist involved was excessive, I thought it was a bold and fair comment.

To me, it was a shift from what we are used to, where associations always come to the defence of their members even when it is obvious that their members were wrong.

If he had maintained that position, it would have sent a clear message to members of every association who, in their quest to become instant heroes, engage in all manner of unprofessional endeavors, to be ethical in their doings.

Unfortunately, by a twist of event, Mr. Affail Monney has recanted his initial position and gone on a frontal attack on the national security operatives in a way that, to me, smacks of reversed sycophancy.

And in the process of all and sundry condemning the alleged manhandling of the journalist, we have forgotten that it is not ethical and certainly not normal for anybody to take photographs of security installation without authorisation. But let's face it. It is not ethical and not normal to do that.

One cannot simply go to any airport or seaport to take photographs without authorisation. But in condemning the security's handling of the situation while whitewashing the act of taking photographs without authorisation, we are indirectly emboldening some people to go to, for instance, any of our seaports to take photographs.

And if in the process, a container falls on him and he dies, we are the very same people who will condemn the security operatives for the lapses in the security.

We cannot tie the hands of the security operatives behind their backs and expect them to function effectively.

So while condemning the security operatives for the manner in which they handled the journalist, let us also condemn the journalist for taking photographs of security installation without authorisation.

This way, I believe we will not embolden some people who are yearning for instant heroism to repeat the act.

Columnist: Osei Tutu
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