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NMC advocates protection and safety of journalists

Accra: Mr George Sarpong, Executive Secretary, National Media Commission has made a strong case for the safety and protection of journalists across the board and especially going into the upcoming general election.

He said the Commission was committed to offering the necessary support to all towards a peaceful election, this year.

Mr Sarpong was interacting with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a two-day training workshop on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for political party Executives in Ho on Monday.

It was organised by the Volta Regional Secretariat of the National Peace Council (NPC) with support from the STAR Ghana Foundation and with funding from the British High Commission.

He said one of the ways of ensuring peaceful elections was protecting the safety of journalists and by extension peace of the nation.

He said journalists should be granted access to all the electoral processes since transparency was the keyword for transparent elections.

Mr. Sarpong, who was facilitating t
he programme said the Commission would protect every journalist ‘who wants to do journalism.’

He said, ‘But anybody who seeks to hide behind any dangerous attempt to undermine our democracy will have himself or herself to blame.’

The Executive Secretary said days, where people could commit offences and sought to avoid liability by claiming political or partisan label were over.

He said anybody would be accountable for their deeds and those who defaulted would face the law.

Mr Sarpong said the Commission would work with all the parties on coordinated mechanisms for the safety of journalists and would work with stakeholders to operationalise it.

He said the Ghana Police Service had made a commitment towards providing the greatest support to safeguard the safety of journalists.

Mr Sarpong said the Commission would not leave any single attack on any journalist unaddressed but more substantively prevent any kind of attack.

He said the Commission would actively work with the National Peace Council.

Mr Sarpo
ng urged the media to re-conceptualise what it meant to have two sides to an issue under peacebuilding.

He called on the media to give the National Peace Council a greater space as the core national peacebuilder in all conflict situations in elections.

Mr Sarpong said the Commission would work with all stakeholders, faith-based groups, political parties and youth groups to protect the peace of the country.

Mr David Yao Normanyo, the Regional Head of NPC said the objective of the workshop was to enhance the knowledge and skills-set of political parties on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for addressing intra and inter-political party conflicts in Ghana.

He said NPC’s expectation is to promote dialogue among the political parties in Ghana to build stronger national cohesion, consensus building and political tolerance.

He said the NPC has identified that inter and intra-party conflicts impact negatively on the general political atmosphere of the country, which led to the workshop.

The NPC is there
fore partnering with some development partners, civil society organisations and governmental institutions to build the capacity of the political parties in alternative dispute resolutions and provide platforms at the national and regional levels that would enable dialogues and consensus building, and address intra and inter-political parties’ conflicts.

In attendance were 30 executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), National Democratic Party (NDP), All People’s Congress (APC), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), and Ghana Freedom Party (GFP).

Source: Ghana News Agency