President John Atta Mills’ final journey to eternity which entered its second day on Thursday was nearly marred when members of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) exchanged words with the state protocol...
...after they were prevented from entering the banquet hall of the state house in their quest to file past the mortal remains of the departed president.
The confrontation made the State Protocol lock the back entrance that led to the State House, leaving some media practitioners behind the gate for almost 40 minutes.
After the exchange of words, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Kobby Acheampong, who many have described in both the print and electronic media as being media friendly, ordered the GJA delegation to stop at the security check point since no special arrangement had been made for them.
This attitude by the Minister and the security officials provoked the members of the GJA forcing some notable members like Egbert Fabille, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Ebo Quansah amongst others to retreat to their various work places.
In spite of the usual bragging that the media are the fourth state of the realm, their constitutional obligations were obviously ignored yesterday.
Most of the highly recognized media personnel were refused entry and mishandled by the state protocol whiles other organizations and institutions were humbly ushered in.
The Editor of the Ghanaian Observer, Egbert Fabille, who went to plead with the security officials to allow some of his colleagues to enter the Banquet hall to file pass the late president, was ordered to shut up by a military officer since the media were not programmed on the protocol list.
This happened in the full glare of the likes of Ken Ashigbe, Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group, Sammy Atta Mensah, Director of Citi FM, Fortune Alimi, Daily Guide, Isreal Laryea, Joy FM among other high level personalities.
All these people were prevented from entering the banquet hall to pay their last respect. However, some determined media persons like Fortune Alimi, Kwami Sefa Kayi and a few others managed to go through the hectic queue to pay their last respects to the late president amidst manhandlement from the security.
Source: New Crusading Guide/Ghana
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