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Defenders of public interest should be protected– Dr. Nana Oppong

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Lawyer, Scientist and Academician, Dr. Nana Oppong has called for the passage of a law and the amendment of the constitution to protect people who defend the country. 

Speaking on GBC’s Current Affairs programme ‘Moomen Tonight’, Dr. Oppong said a law should be passed to give professional journalists more opportunities and protections enjoyed by other professions. 

“We should pass a law called the Defenders of Public Interest Act to protect people who defend the country, give them security and compensation,” he said. 

He admonished journalists to come together to get a law passed for their protection to enable them to work freely. 

Dr. Oppong, who was also guest speaker at a lecture on Tuesday, January 19, in honour of the late Ahmed Suale who was a member of Tiger Eye PI, reiterated the need for journalists to be competent. 

“Journalists themselves should be competent, they shouldn’t do what they want based on desperation or hunger,” he stated. 

According to Dr. Oppong who is the President of Distinguished Scholars of Africa, it is time for journalists to be recognised as a professional body just as is the case with other professions such as law, medicine among others. 

“Journalists must be organised as a professional body or society just like lawyers, doctors, engineers, and so on. It must become a club requiring minimum qualifications, with minimum pay and conditions and then with licensing requirement for professional journalists,” he said. 

He added that Journalists becoming a professional body will give them more power to lobby the government, develop ethics, rules and regulations and skills to protect themselves. 

“But if you are a society just like lawyers, then now you are strong, organised, sustainable, energetic. Then you can talk to the government, you can lobby,” he stated. 

He stated that the state should be responsible for the protection of competent journalists in the country. 

Dr. Oppong added that there is no justification for the killing of Journalists who seek to uncover and unveil what is hidden from the eyes of society. 

Story by: Ebenezer Fayah Amartey.

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