Seven regional chairmen of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) have raised red flags about what they regard as a “unilateral decision by the National Executive to reduce the Tema Regional branch of the GJA into a Chapter without consulting the National Council and/or AGM and without regards to the GJA constitution.”
The aggrieved chairmen are also not happy about a purported press release issued by the association replacing three of its members serving on the National Media Commission and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee.
The regional chairmen, who jointly signed a memorandum calling for the meeting include Maxwell Kudekor, Eastern Region; Larry Paa Kwasi Moses, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions and Yakubu Abdul Majeed, Northern.
The rest are William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, Upper East; Kingsley E. Hope, Ashanti Region; Dzifa Emma Tetteh, Tema Region and David Yarboi, Central Region.
They contended that the National Media Commission and the Public Interest and Accountability Committee were creatures of statute and cannot be controlled or allowed to be used by any individual or group of persons for their personal vendetta.
According to the regional chairmen, Section 7 (1) of ACT 449 guarantees a three-year uninterrupted tenure of office for members properly represented on the Commission.
“To wit, members’ tenure of office is secured provided they are not caught by the provisions of Section 6 (1). We also refer you to section 8 (2) of Act 449 on what happens when a member dies, resigns or otherwise ceases to hold office”, the aggrieved chairmen explained.
“On the matter of the PIAC replacement, we refer you to section 55 (6) of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2011, ACT 815 which provides that, ‘Members appointed to the Accountability Committee have security of tenure and unless otherwise provided for by law, or for medical reasons, may not be suspended, retired or removed from office”, they argued in their Memo.
In their view, the purported press release has cast a dent on the knowledge and image of the GJA in the minds of right-thinking Ghanaians and other stakeholders.
“Our point is that, if the National Executives had complied with the provisions in article 15 (b) of the GJA constitution and consulted well with the National Council, this National disgrace would not have happened,” they said.
“On the matter of the NMC and PIAC replacement, we advise the National Executive to immediately write to withdraw its press release and apologize for the error in law,” portions of the memorandum read.
Submission of policies
Meanwhile, the chairmen are, “as a matter of urgency, calling on the National Executive to immediately organize a National Council meeting and present its policies and programs for the year for consideration and also discuss some major actions and issues of national interest that appear to bring the name of the Association into disrepute.
According to them, they are “surprised at the blatant disregard of the functions of the National Council as provided for in Article 14 (b) of the GJA constitution 2004 and the current National Executive actions of not submitting its policies and programs to the Council for approval”.