By: KALD & Rita Nedjoh| Voltaonlionegh.com |
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa has rendered an apology to the Ghana Journalists Association in the Volta region for the unintended consequences of a security alert, restricting movement of reporters during the just ended referendum for the proposed Oti region.
Journalists in the course of Thursday, 27th December 2018 referendum for the creation of a new region in the northern part the Volta region, were asked by the Regional Police commander, DCOP Francis Doku to restrict their movement to the media centre at Bueman SHS in Jasikan, following security intelligence which pointed to plans by some indigenes to attack unfamiliar faces in the area including reporters.
This did not go down well with the GJA-Volta, which in a statement signed by the Regional Chairman, Anthony Bells Kafui Kanyi, described the development as “unfortunate in view of Ghana being an icon of democratic growth and development, following the referendum that ushered in the Fourth Republic.”
However, speaking at a press soiree organized by the Volta Regional Police command on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, where the issue took centre stage, Dr. Letsa who is also the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (RegSec) said the caution to journalists to restrict their movement during the referendum was not intended to prevent them from performing their duties but rather to safeguard their safety and security in the area.
He thus apologized to the media fraternity and said “the security alert which was communicated by the commander was from regional security council and it was in no way done to stop you from doing your work, so as the chairman of RegSec, I want to apologise to you if such a decision didn’t go down well with you.”
“We all know this referendum was a novel process in our democracy and stakes were quite high so as a security council we were just being proactive to ensure everything goes on peacefully and if in that process you felt offended, I apologise and let’s continue to work together,” the Minister added.
That notwithstanding, Dr. Letsa commended the cordial relationship between the police administration and the media in the region, and urged the two institution to continue to work collaboratively to ensure absolute peace and tranquility prevail in the society.
The soiree which took place at the Regional Police headquarters in Ho on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 brought together media practitioners, regional security heads, officers and personnel of the Police services to wine and dine, while taking stock of the previous year performances.
In attendance also was the Deputy Regional Minister, Mr. Maxwell blagodzi.
The Regional Police Commander DCOP Francis Doku on his part commended the support of the media to the service over the years, stating that “the relationship between the Police and the Press has been cordial and constructive.”
He noted that, the region in the just ended 2018 witnessed less crime as compared to the preceding year, a feat he attributed to the effectiveness of the security agencies in the region.
“I dare say that the Volta Regional Police has not been sleeping on its job at all and this is succinctly proven by the crime statistics of the year 2017 as against 2018,” DCOP Doku stated and called for more public cooperation to help bring down the incidences of crime to the barest minimum.
New District Command
The Regional Police chief also announced plans to open new district police commands at Juapong and Adaklu in the North Tongu and Adaklu districts respectively by the middle of 2019, as he appealed to the Regional Coordinating council to help provide vehicles for the new commands when they become operational.
The Regional chairman of GJA-Volta, Mr. Kafui Kanyi on his part applauded the police command for recognizing the support of the media and hosting them to such an occasion.
He indicated that, the media-police relationship was very symbiotic for which both institutions must continue to support each other in the discharge of their constitutionally mandated duties without any hindrance.