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27.02.2006 General News

The Ghana Journalists Association National Elections


By Gideon Sackitey

Accra, Feb 27, GNA - At the close of nominations for the National Executive Positions of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) two weeks ago, the various positions had been filled virtually by the women in the Association leading to the situation where a lot of people especially those outside the Association asked, "where are the men?" The incumbent, Adjoa Yeboah-Afari and my long-time friend Sarah Akrofi- Quarcoo were up in arms for the Presidency while Affail Monney, the Deputy General Secretary and Charity Binka, all of GBC were vying for the Vice-Presidential position.

Mr Dave Agbenu, who has been lying low, sitting in his corner somewhere over the years, bounced back to take up the newly created position of Organizing Secretary. But he had a challenger in the person of Ottueh Annancy of Inter-Africa Journal.

The incumbent General Secretary, Bright Blewu, who many thought was ripe for the Presidency having single-handed managed affairs at the Press Centre, waqs returned unopposed.

Miss Yaa Oforiwaah Acquah, Deputy News Editor of Ghana News Agency, the old and trusted treasurer, who has kept the GJA money safely for all these years, has to contend with a younger lady, Ms Esi Asante of the Ghanaian Times for the position.

Another long-time Executive Member, Matthew McKwame opted for the newly created Public Relations Officer portfolio and went unopposed. Many within and without the Association were at a loss as to where the Yaw Boadu Ayeboafohs, Yaw Owusu Addos, Ransford Tettehs and the Breda Atta Quaysons were that the field was so lean? It was disappointing for some of the members, who thought that for now, a new crop of leadership was to emerge. But it was not to be as the events of the ensuing week turned out to be.

First, Adjoa stepped down citing increased pressure of work at Ghanaian Times where she is the Editor and then as expected Annancy, who had not paid his dues for several years was disqualified by the Ben Assorow-led Electoral Committee on the basis of Article 47 B Sub-section Three and Article 48 D Sub-section Two. Consequently Article 47 was invoked and nominations were re-opened for the two positions. Things shaped up a bit at the top later when Gina Blay, President of the Private Newspapers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), stepped in to contest the top position with Sarah.

Now let us look at these nominations carefully: First the Presidency. Sarah seems poised to win hands down as Gina is yet to be seen. Her posters are yet to appear. Some GJA believe that the Association being a watchdog organization should not lend itself to politics as Gina had done through her "Daily Guide".

For the Vice-Presidential slot may be hotly contested but trust Affail Monney to win, having served as Deputy General Secretary for two terms and over the years has warmed himself to the membership. Besides, he is very affable sometimes to a fault. However, Affail has to step up his tempo a bit and assert himself else he would be overtaken by gender solidarity.

Dave still needs to wait till the close of day of Tuesday February 28 to know if he has any challenger. It appears he might go unopposed. Do not forget that Dave has been Chapter Secretary at Ghanaian Times for several years.

The Yaa Oforiwaa Acquah has been a trusted name in GJA financial circles for years and the auditors have over the years been commending her for astuteness. As it often said; "a good Coach does not change a wining team"' so all is set to give her a massive thumps up. Her challenger , Ms Esi Asante of "The Ghanaian Times" campaign slogan is "Moko aya, ni moko aba" indicating, it is time for change at the GJA's Finance Ministry. It is up to members to decide.

Just at the time of going to press, news filtered in that Ransford Tetteh, of "Daily Graphic" had put in a showing for the post of President.

This has thrown the presidency wide open. Ransford is a fine gentleman, who has held several positions in the GJA right from his days as Chairman of the Eastern Regional Chairman of GJA while in Koforidua in the 1990s.

Members of GJA would have to do very careful analysis before casting their vote. Only the best is good enough for GJA, apologies to Dr Kwegyir Aggrey of Africa. 27 Feb. 06