After he allegedly ordered three men to ‘kidnap’ a journalist in Bawku in the Upper East, took him to his private residence where he was beaten to pulse, the founder and leader All People’s Congress (APC) Hassan Ayariga, has bragged that what the thugs did to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reporter, Jerry Azenduna was a ‘military discipline’.
The offense of Mr. Azenduna was that he had done a story in the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on an alleged attack on Mr. Ayariga by an unknown man at his private residence in Bawku which he, Ayariga, has denied.
Narrating his ordeal, the journalist said on Mondy, three men picked him after they claimed they were inviting him for a news conference.
While on their way to a location the men had said the news conference was to be held, the journalist said he noticed the driver of the vehicle had diverted and was heading towards Mr. Ayariga’s house. Sensing danger, he said he called one of the security officers in Bawku to alert him that some unknown men had kidnapped him and were taking him to unknown location. However, before he could relay the information to the said security officer, one of the men slapped him and seized his cell phone. He narrated that while the third person was driving, the remaining two were also busily assaulting him physically.
Mr. Azenduna said he was then taken to Mr. Ayariga’s house where the men dragged him on the ground into the compound of the house. “When we got there, they dragged me on the floor; stepped on me and the man [Ayariga] came out and asked me what happened? At that stage, I couldn’t talk because I was completely dumbed and I couldn’t breathe because they seized all my ribs.”
Mr. Azenduna said before he could answer Ayariga’s question, the men started beating him up until he became unconscious. He before he became unconscious, Hassan Ayariga asked him why he published a false report that he, Ayariga was attacked and beaten up.
According the journalist, when he gained consciousness, he saw an army officer who rescued him and took him to the Bawku Police station where a medical form was issued to him to attend hospital. He was treated and discharged at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital in Bawku.
Speaking on Bolgatanga-based A1 Radio on Wednesday, Mr. Ayariga admitted the men who assaulted the journalist were his party boys. He also admitted the journalist was taken to his house but however denied ordering the men to pick him up and assault him.
Mr. Ayariga described as a ‘military discipline’, the assault meted out to the journalist.
When asked by Samuel Mbura, host of DayBreak Upper East show, whether he was ready to apologise to the reporter for the action of his party boys, Mr. Ayariga sarcastically said: “I only saw him lying down and I know that that was a military discipline. So he was disciplined by my boys and my party members and I don’t have control over them because I wasn’t there.” I don’t owe that man any apology. The first apology I want from that man and his team, [GNA] is for them to do a rejoinder first, retract what they wrote about me, the lies about me, the mischievous, calculated propaganda they have done and tarnished my image before the whole world. Do you know what it has done to me? Can you imagine that Ayariga beaten up in my own house? Can you imagine?”
So over there, I stood for a while and I responded that this people told me that
admitted the thugs that brutalised a journalist with the Ghana News Agency in Bawku in the upper east region were his party boys but he owes no apology for the journalist.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Journalista Association on Tuesday a statement it issued on Tuesday condemned the attack on Mr. Azenduna and called on the Ghana Police Service to investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to book.
Signed by association President Affail Monney, the journalists’ mouthpiece reminded the public that the Constitution of Ghana provides several avenues for seeking redress concerning what they consider to be unfair reportage instead of taking the law into their hands.
Police Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Yao Tettegah in a telephone interview told this reporter that investigations have commenced and the prayed the journalist would assist them identify his assailants.
Meanwhile, Upper East Regional Chairman of GJA, Eric Amoh, has advised his colleagues to stay calm as they police investigate the matter.
He was however not happy that the police, instead of inviting Ayariga to the Police to take his statement, they went to his house for him to give his statement. But as was explained the Chief Superintendent Tettegah, the police got information that Mr. Ayariga was leaving Bawku at the time the journalist lodged a complaint and so they had to quickly go to his house for his statement before he left.