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Nigerian delegation visits Ghana Journalists Association

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A 32-member delegation from Nigerian Institute of Planning Policy and Strategic Studies on Thursday paid a courtesy call on the Ghana Journalists Association as part of their two-week tour in Ghana.

The delegation hoped to learn more about the media pluralism and the role the local media has played in the development of democracy in Ghana.

The delegation was made up of representatives and heads of the various public institutions in Nigeria.

Professor Tojjani Muhammad-Bande, Acting Director-General of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, commended Ghana for the exemplary leadership exhibited in practicing democracy not only in the sub-region but on the Continent as a whole.

He said the media, as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, had a critical role to play in ensuring that there was peace and stability in the country.

“Much more depends on you as journalists because people tend to listen and believe what they hear on radio and television,” he added.

Professor Muhammad-Bande said it was unfortunate that the writings of some journalists had caused mayhem in some countries and expressed the need for journalists to ensure that their writings brought about peace, unity and development to nations.

Professor Olu Obafemi, Leader of the delegation, expressed concern about ‘who is a journalist’ and suggested that a thorough screening be done to get the quality and cream of journalists to practice in their various countries.

He thanked the GJA executives for the co-operation during the visit and wished for further collaboration between the two countries.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of Ghana Journalists Association, took the delegation through the history of the GJA.

He said previously Ghanaian media was under serious restriction until the repeal of the criminal code which gave them the freedom of speech and expression, adding, despite all this freedom, “we still face some challenges”.

Mr Tetteh cited the recent arrest of some journalists and social commentator by the national security for some comments they made on the airwaves which caused “fear and panic”.

“The GJA had to intervene to get them released and that is what we are facing now though we have been given the freedom,” he added.

Mr Bright Blewu, General Secretary of GJA, commended Nigeria for her recent peaceful general elections and attributed that partly to the role the Nigerian media played and called for a closer collaboration between the two countries since they had a lot in common.

Source: GNA

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