The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), together with its partners, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA), Private Newspaper and Online Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) and Media Foundation for West Africa has lifted the ban on the MP for Yendi, Hon. Farouk Aliu Mahama following his apology to the assaulted Journalist, Mohammed Aminu Alabira, Northern Region Correspondent of Accra-based Citi News, and the entire media fraternity.

It will be recalled that GJA and its media Partners announced a media black out on the the MP after assaulting the Journalist together with Thugs following him.

But the GJA and its partners, at a news conference on Thursday (May 8, 2024) lifted the ban on Farouk Aliu Mahama advised him to go and sin no more.

“Later the same day, Farouk Aliu Mahama wrote an apology letter to the Management of Citi FM/TV and copied the GJA.

After meeting as a coalition to assess the conciliatory gesture of the MP, the plea by the Minister of Information designate and her deputy designate and the positive feedback from the Management of Citi/FM, the GJA and its partners have decided to end the media boycott placed on Honourable Farouk Aliu Mahama, MP for Yendi”, Mr. GJA President Mr. Albert Kwabena Dwumfour emphasized.

Below is the full statement


Members of the National Executive of the GJA,

The representative of GIBA,

The representative of PRINPAG,

The representative of MFWA,

Colleague media practitioners,

Distinguished invited guests,

Ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of the National Executives of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), I welcome you to today’s news conference. Let me start by congratulating the media fraternity, the government, and all Ghanaians on the country’s improved rating on the Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index. Indeed, thanks to the efforts of all stakeholders within the media sector whose contribution has seen media freedom in Ghana record this significant improvement from 62nd to 50th in the global ranking and currently 5th in Africa, according to the latest edition of the Press Freedom Index.

I wish to thank you once more for responding to the invitation of Ghana media stakeholders’ coalition comprising the Ghana Journalists’ association (GJA), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the Private Newspapers and Online News Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG).

The purpose of this Press Conference is to brief you on recent developments regarding the separate cases of Media Blackout relating to assault on journalists involving two members of parliament.

You will recall that on February 6, 2024, the Coalition called on all media organisations not to provide coverage to the Member of Parliament for Yendi, Farouk Aliu Mahama, in his current capacity as MP and in any future capacity, until further notice.

As you are all aware, the call followed the assault of Mohammed Aminu Alabira, Northern Region Correspondent of Accra-based Citi News, by the MP and some associates of his supporters. The incident occurred during the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries in Yendi on January 27, 2024.

We stated that, apart from the MP showing a lack of insensitivity to the work of the media, there are vigilantes around him who may harm journalists. It is pertinent to add that, in response, the MP denied involvement in the assault of the journalist and sued the GJA for defamation.

However, exactly THREE months after the boycott, Hon. Farouk Aliu Mahama has decided to seek a peaceful settlement (call for a truce). On May 6, 2024, the MP, accompanied by the Minister for Information designate, Honorable Fatimatu Abubakar, and her deputy designate, Honorable Sylvester Tetteh, sought audience with the GJA and its partners. In a meeting held at the International Press Center, Farouk Aliu Mahama decided on amicable settlement in the matter, in the spirit of the World Press Freedom Day, which was celebrated on May 3, 2024.

The Minister of Information Designate, Honorable Fatimatu Abubakar, said the MP had taken the decision to settle the matter amicably in the spirit of the World Press Freedom Day which was celebrated on May 3, 2024. She emphasized the need for state and non-state stakeholders to collaborate to combat impunity and ensure that Ghana’s improved press freedom ranking is enhanced.

For his part, Honorable Farouk Aliu Mahama apologised for the assault on the Citi FM reporter and committed to working to restore cordial relations with the media in the Northern Region and the country as a whole. He informed the meeting that he had also withdrawn his suit against the GJA and was ready to meet the Management of Citi FM/TV and the journalist/victim, Mohammed Aminu Alabira, for an amicable settlement.

Later the same day, Farouk Aliu Mahama wrote an apology letter to the Management of Citi FM/TV and copied the GJA.

After meeting as a coalition to assess the conciliatory gesture of the MP, the plea by the Minister of Information designate and her deputy designate and the positive feedback from the Management of Citi/FM, the GJA and its partners have decided to end the media boycott placed on Honourable Farouk Aliu Mahama, MP for Yendi. We, therefore, respectfully request all media organisations to take note and act accordingly, with effect from today, May 9, 2024.


Update on the Hawa Koomson Case

Dear colleagues, you will recall that the GJA imposed a similar news blackout on the Minister for Fisheries and MP for Awutu Senya East on January 25, 2024. This followed a brutal attack on David Kobbena, a journalist with Cape FM, on January 4, 2024, by alleged aides and supporters of Ms. Koomson during the NPP’s parliamentary candidates vetting in the Central Region.

However, in a statement issued on February 16, 2024, we announced our decision to end the boycott. The decision was taken after Madam Hawa Koomson redeemed her promise to engage the GJA to seek an amicable settlement. Accompanied by the Minister-designate for Information, Fatimatu Abubakar, the MP met officials of the GJA and its partners to express regret over the attack on the journalist while pledging to help identify and arrest the perpetrators. It was on the basis of this pledge, which was backed by the Minister-Designate for Information, that the blackout was lifted.

The latest development on this case is that Ms. Hawa Koomson has honored her word by taking two suspects identified to her during the said meeting to the Police who have taken their statements. We are closing following up on the case with the Police to ensure prosecution.

Improved Outlook

During our last press conference on February 6, 2024, we lamented the rampaging violence against journalists and media houses in the country and demanded action to reverse the trend. At that time, we recorded two violations – the very ones we are discussing now. We also decried the fact that more than ten journalists had been assaulted within the last quarter of 2023. We also appealed to the courts to defend press freedom, having noticed a trend where four journalists had spent five to 10 days in police and national security custody on the orders of the courts, and in cases that were ultimately abandoned without prosecution.

We are glad to say that no attack on journalists has been recorded since we made these observations at our last press conference. Furthermore, there is good news on Ghana’s improved press freedom ranking as recently announced.

Outstanding Issues

While we celebrate the modest gains we have chalked up, we should not be distracted from some of the critical outstanding issues. The continued silence of the leadership of the New Patriotic Party in the face of the two incidents recorded during internal electoral exercises is highly disappointing. Neither in the case of Hawa Koomson nor that of Farouk Aliu Mahama did the party leadership at the regional or national level, 50th any action to show concern.

We are also deeply concerned about the five years of impunity surrounding the murder of Ahmed Suale, the single most egregious attack on the media in the history of this country. We urge the authorities to step up their efforts at finding and bringing the perpetrators to order.

Another trend that gives cause for concern is the ongoing energy crisis which is having a toll on the finances and operations of the media, particularly the broadcast media. The government should double its efforts to restore stability in power supply to avert the closure of broadcast stations and consequent loss of jobs.

I also wish to reiterate our appreciation to the media for observing the media blacklist decision and for the overwhelming feedback and solidarity from everyone. We highly appreciate your continuous support to the GJA, PRINPAG, GIBA and MFWA in our efforts at promoting the safety of journalists and the rights and interests of the media in the country. We hope to count on your continued support for as long as it is necessary.

Before l conclude, and as we inch up towards election 2024, let me caution the media on the escalated need to uphold the highest ethical standards. The media must be committed to providing effective, comprehensive, and professional coverage of the 2024 campaigns and polls.
Media Houses must also enhance their security of their staff and their premises.

May God strengthen us in our bond and dedication to the cause of journalists and the media as a whole.


Let me remind you of the African Media Convention scheduled for 15- 17th of May at the Accra International Conference Center. We are inviting you all to join us to celebrate one of the largest gatherings of media and partners in history.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, the hosting of the 3rd AMC in Ghana is a testament to Ghana’s record as one of Africa’s fast-growing conference destinations.

Long live GJA, GIBA, PRINPAG, and MFWA.

Thank you for your attention.