Members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in the Bono East, Bono and Ahafo Regions, who are in good standing will, on Saturday, October 3, 2021, go to the polls to elect new Regional Executives to steer the affairs of the association.
By the close of nominations, only four persons submitted their names for consideration as contestants in the election which seemed to have been delayed due to various reasons.
The incumbent Regional Chairman of the GJA, Larry Paa Kwesi Moses, who is seeking re-election is going unopposed whereas his Secretary, Dennis Kwadwo Peprah is being fiercely challenged by Daniel Yao Dayee, the Regional News Editor of the Daily Guide newspaper.
The incumbent Regional Treasurer of the association, Mrs. Regina Benneh-Siaw is on her way to becoming the next GJA Regional Vice-Chair as she is going unopposed.
This would mean that the position of the Regional Treasurer would become vacant as nobody is vying for that office. Per the GJA constitution, the Regional Chairman could appoint someone to fill that gap.
Ahead of the polls, the current Regional Chair, Larry Paa Kwesi Moses, who is going unopposed, is calling on the inky fraternity in the three regions – Bono, Bono East and Ahafo – to ensure that the exercise ends peacefully devoid of any acts that could tarnish the hard-won image of the GJA.
According to him, adequate preparations have been made to ensure the smooth organization of the elections and called on all members in good standing in the three regions to come out in their numbers to exercise their franchise.
“I can assure you of adequate security arrangements to take care of any eventuality. The EC is also on top of their work and they have told me everything is under control so I expect a very credible, peaceful and transparent election on the day”, he said in an interview.
He continued, “I call for civility before, during and after the polls. All aspirants should know that the association is bigger than any individual. There should be unity among all aspirants, no acrimonious or vicious campaign.
“The paid-up members should elect leaders who can fight and defend the rights of the Ghanaian media practitioner, but not people with questionable characters having their own agenda of becoming leaders.
“We must vote for people who will fight for the unionization of the association, investment, empowering the regional branches, training of journalists and the protection of journalists.”
He wished all the regional aspirants the best of luck, saying whoever wins does so for the association and not for himself or herself.
The incumbent Secretary who is seeking re-election, Dennis Kwadwo Peprah of the Ghana News Agency in an interview asked members to conduct themselves responsibly and vote for candidates who had the Association at heart.
“We have worked hard to make the association vibrant in the region as well as increase membership, we also for the first time successfully organised GJA Regional Awards here in Sunyani while efforts are underway to hold the second Awards ceremony”, he further said.
Mr. Peprah, who has about two decades of vast experience in journalism called on his compatriots to retain him come October 3, 2021 to enable him continue with his good works.
He stated, “I humbly ask members to vote for me so that I would work strenuously to make the journalist feel the presence and impact of the association at the local, regional and national levels."
His only contender, another senior journalist, Daniel Yao Dayee, believes that the time has come for him to take the supreme interest of members of the association to a higher level.
Mr. Dayee is positive that he would carry the day after the polls and asked the voters to decide on who they would vote based on their conscience.
Hear him, “I am going to win hands down because members are dissatisfied with the old ways of doing things. They need people like me to carry them along and not to lord positions over them."
“We need a free and fair election. The election or voting should be held in accordance with the rules of engagement - transparency, fairness, involvement of agents of candidates are what we are all looking for. No attempt must be made to subdue the will of voters, no vote-buying. Let voters decide with their conscience”, he vociferously stated.
On Saturday, October 3, 2021 all roads would lead to the Regional office of the Electoral Commission in Sunyani where voting will take place from 07:00am to 05:00pm.