Time to restructure Nat’l Security now – Gov’t told
Government has been urged to restructure the National Security Council and re-orient the minds of operatives.
It has been urged further to institute professional recruitment policies to ensure that the Ministry of National Security recruits the right calibre of professionals who will be entrusted with the intelligence mandate of the Ministry.
This call was made in a joint statement issued by the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspaper Printers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) and Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) on Sunday, May 16.
It comes in the wake of the increasing spate of brutalities meted out to members of the inky fraternity by operatives of the National Security.
The recent one is the brutality meted out to Citi FM’s Caleb Kudah, who was detained for allegedly filming certain security installations within the premises of the Ministry.
He narrated to colleague Bernard Avle that he was slapped several times from behind and kicked in the groin.
In a statement to condemn these acts, the three media groups – GIBA, PRINPAG and GJA – underscored the “indispensable” role of the media in the development of the country as well as the consolidation of democracy while holding government accountable.
“We are of the view that, the time has come for the government to restructure the Ministry of National Security, re-orient the minds of these operatives, and to institute professional recruitment policies to ensure that the Ministry recruits the right calibre of professionals who will be entrusted with the intelligence mandate of the Ministry.”
They demanded an immediate cessation of the invasion of media houses by the National Security personnel.
“We condemn the seizure and deletion of journalistic and any other material on any recording device without court orders.”
They offered to partner any security agency “to advance the course of the country and its development”.
“But for this collaboration to be effective, it is important for the security agencies to be oriented on the intricacies in the practice of the journalism profession, one of which is to employ in some cases, subterfuge and unorthodox means of gathering information, if same is in the supreme national interest.
“For this collaboration to be effective in the national interest, we expect members of the two institutions to treat one another with mutual respect and decorum.”
They, therefore, called for an immediate roundtable discussion between the top hierarchy of the security agencies, media organisations, civil society organisations (CSOs) involved with media and the National Media Commission (NMC) for the best way forward.