Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister has stated the resolve of the Regional Coordinating Council to protect journalists and media practitioners in the region and not entertain any attacks on them.
“When the Press is trampled, we will sanction and take appropriate measures against perpetrators.
“We will protect you. We are with you and will not entertain any attacks on the media in the Volta Region,” he said.
Dr. Letsa said this when he addressed a symposium organized by the Ghana Journalists Association-Volta to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
The event, which was on the regional theme, “Security-Media relation and Election 2020”, was heralded by a joint route march by the media and security services.
The Regional Minister and his Deputy, Mr Johnson Avuletey, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Nelson Akorli and Mr Mr James Gunu, Regional Secretary of the National Democratic Congress took part in the route march and the symposium.
It also attracted regional heads of the Information Services Department, the National Commission for Civic Education and Public Relations Officers of various organisations, agencies, and institutions.
The two hour procession ended at the site of the Volta Regional Press Centre for the symposium.
Dr Letsa described the media as critical partners for socio-economic development and that the Coordinating Council could not sacrifice the safety and welfare of practitioners.
DCOP Oduro Kwarteng, Volta Regional Police Commander, said the Service would continue to recognise the media’s role in ensuring peace and security, and pledged the commitment of the Service to ensuring their safety.
He noted that information was key to effective collaboration between the media and security agencies, and said the media must deliver service that would benefit the people, and advised them to be circumspect especially around sensitive issues and elections.
In a solidarity message, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Eastern/Volta branch said the media’s role was critical to the survival of the country’s democracy and hence the commitment of AGI to safeguard the freedom of the press.
A statement signed by its Regional Vice Chair, Mrs Lucy Tenkorang also commended GJA Volta for initiating a Regional Press Centre project and proposed regular joint informal dialogues at the Centre, when completed on the economic potentials of both regions.
Mr Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi, Volta Regional Chairman of GJA said the region was making positive strides in protection of journalists and applauded stakeholders for the support.
He said the symposium was the first of several activities towards enhancing the relationship between the media and security services ahead of elections 2020.
The event was sponsored by Accra Breweries Limited, Power Distribution Services Limited, Doelyne Agricultural Shop, Paul’s Fashion, the Ho Municipal Assembly and the Regional Coordinating Council.