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The Arthur: Manasseh Azure Awuni

MANASSEH’S FOLDER: Confession

Manasseh Azure Awuni with JM
Manasseh with President John Mahama when he received the National Youth Achievers’ Award for Media                                                                                                         Excellence in 2012

I stand accused. I stand accused of hating the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama. I stand accused of hating the National Democratic Congress (NDC). And others accuse me of hating the government. This is because of the work I do. I’m an investigative journalist. And a writer.

“We know you’re doing your work, but you also have to consider the fact that you are making your own brother unpopular,” those from my part of the country would say. “Don’t let people use you against one of your own. That was what they did to Limann. You are young so you won’t understand these things…”

“It is as if you have something personal against the President or you hate the NDC,” that’s how others put it. “You just hate the man. Where were you when Kufuor was President? We didn’t see any investigation from you.”

Well, I was in the junior high school when John Agyekum Kufuor won the Presidential election in 2000. And when he left in 2008, I was still in journalism school. But as to whether I hate President Mahama, the NDC or the government, here is my honest confession:

Do I hate president Mahama?

The answer is no. Do I have anything personal against him? The answer is no. I don’t hate President Mahama. And I can’t hate him. I have no reason to hate him. He has not mounted my wife. He has not stolen from my barn. He has not walked through my farm with destructive amulets around his feet. So the boy from Bongo does not hate the man from Bole.

It’s difficult to hate that man if you have ever encountered him in person. I don’t know how to describe him, but he has a bewitchingly likable personality.  I will not say he is charismatic, but he has that charming personality that can turn a foe into a friend without a word. Call him Mr. Nice and you’re not an inch away from the truth. Perhaps, that niceness is what makes him a weak leader. A leader ought to be tough, be willing to step on toes and should not dread losing friends.

I started writing opinion pieces when I entered the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2006. I started with GBC Radio News Commentary until 2009, when I started writing in the Daily Graphic and publishing on news websites. President Mahama became a vice President in 2008 and in July 2012, he became President. It was only in 2014 that I published anything that can be considered negative about his presidency, not his person. This was after my GYEEDA investigation in 2013.

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