The inability to find the perpetrators of Ahmed Hussein-Suale’s death is an issue the country must deal with head-on, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
“It is unfortunate. Even though he is a journalist, we still really do not know why he was killed – whether it is linked to the work he was doing or other matters,” he bemoaned.
Expressing his disappointment over the unresolved murder, he said: “Despite the very widespread efforts by the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID), we still have not been able to lay hands on the perpetrators of Hussein-Suale’s death.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo, interacting with the leadership of the Ghana Journalists’ Association (GJA), at the Jubilee House, Accra, said the development did not augur well for the country’s image in respect of the freedom of the press.
Hussein-Suale, an investigative journalist, was in January 2019, shot dead while driving home.
According to media reports, some unidentified men on motorbikes shot him three times in the capital, Accra.
He was a member of Tiger Eye Private Investigations and had investigated corruption in Ghana’s football leagues, which led to a lifetime ban of the former head of the Football Association, Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi.
The undercover work will compel the ‘BBC Africa Eye’ to make a documentary about the scandal after gaining access to the investigation led by renowned investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who runs the Tiger Eye.
President Nana Akufo-Addo was of the view that: “The safety of journalists in Ghana has to be considered sacrosanct. Sacrosanct from members of the community, sacrosanct from agencies of the state.”
“We live in a country where journalists have to feel safe to go about their work, because the work they do for the country and community is extremely very important,” he observed.
He was emphatic that any form of attack on any journalist in the course of his or her duty ought to be condemned in no uncertain terms.
“I want to be unequivocal on the safety of journalists. I do not condone any attacks on any journalist. Even those who abuse me, I do not condone any attacks on them,” President Nana Akufo-Addo cautioned.
He argued that “a more easy press, even a mischievous press, is better than a sycophancy press.”
The President, an advocate of media freedom, narrated how the Ghanaian media landscape had grown over the years to its present state, citing the days when the country had to rely on some few state-owned media houses for information flow.
His administration, he noted, believed in press freedom as a tool for the nation’s sustainable development, therefore, the Government would work assiduously to promote the safety of journalists.
Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, the GJA President, said the leadership’s visit to the Presidency was to officially introduce the newly-elected executives of the Association to the President.
It was also to announce to the President preparations being made towards the organization of the 26th GJA Awards’ Ceremony, scheduled for November 12, this year, in Accra.
Mr Dwumfour lauded the President for his commitment to human rights issues, and for always championing the cause of the media.
The Association, he said, would continue to liaise with the Government in addressing issues bothering the country’s development and growth.