Since the emergence of a certain young man, Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni in the noble profession of journalism, I have been a keen follower and observer of many of his stories and articles. Mind you, before his calling into the profession was already me. I remember vividly, publishing his articles in a newspaper of which I was then the news editor when he was yet a student at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
But as it is said among the Kusasi people that, if your ardent enemy is handsome, you simply have no option than to accept the reality, so I will first admit the fact, as he boasted in one of his facebook updates sometime back, that he was a good writer before becoming a professional journalist. He was, indeed, a good writer. Take that not away from him. I will also admit that, when he finally became a professional journalist and freelancer, most of his stories worth the attention of many Ghanaians including the then government of late President John Mills through to that of former President John Mahama’s administration.
I was therefore, not surprise when he eventually won the Best Journalist award of the year, 2011. He well deserved it. Those journalists who thought they rather merited it than him and let hell broke upon the Ghana Journalist Association, GJA, though, I agree that it is a much compromised Association, were being self-absorbed, selfish and childish. True be told! Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s, the Old Book simply put it.
Let me also state that myself and the young man have something in common. Yes! I am a Kusanaba Boy, a village in the Bawku West District where poverty level cannot be measured. Where developmental matters are strange to our leaders. Where people are only relevant during electioneering seasons. I, however, grew and spent much of my youthful life in the Bongo District. Just as me, my friend, Manasseh was born in Bongo but grew up and had his early education in Kete Krachi, a village in the Volta region. He calls himself the Bongo Boy too. Mind you, his Bongo has the same characteristics just as my village. Seen? We really have something in common.
Back to business! Manasseh after winning that prestigious award continued his professional journalistic work admirably, winning more and more awards. I cheered him on. Smoothly he was moving, captivating the souls and love of many Ghanaians. Then he metamorphosed himself into an investigative journalist. Kudos to him, I said. He then added onto it, anti-corruption crusader. How lovely it was! Ghanaians clapped in admiration for him. For once, they had a non-politically tainted Journalist rising and performing magic. He was feared by state agencies. Private organizations that had something to do with the then government shivered at the mention of his name. He was simply a thorny in the flesh of many. Truth be told!
But as Wayde Goodall will put it “We are given talent but we choose to have character”. The Bongo Boy, though, full of talent decided to choose a character. An Ostentatious and dangerous character. A character that well-fitted into the deadly political agenda of the then desperate opposition New Patriotic Party, NPP. The target of the character was to bring then former president John Mahama’s government down crumbling through whatever means available. A character that turned his once admired bravery and professional standards around negatively. He married the NPP in secrecy and their sexual affairs were only but suspicion. He chose a character! Seen?
He got himself consumed in the politics of the NPP where political reality is that clowns and pretenders see themselves as the agents of history. My young friend, realised that, the almighty Joy Fm platform alone could not do the trick of helping him run down the John Mahama administration and created his own website and named it, Manasseh’s folder. A folder he would publish scathing articles about alleged rotten deals and alleged corrupt practices, the John Mahama administration was swimming in. A folder many thought it was for his corruption crusading agenda. A folder many thought he was going to use for a national course against all corrupt practices regardless who was in government. But the Manasseh’s folder was on a mission! A mission to help end the presidency of president Mahama. An evil mission I called it!
But many Ghanaians were incapacitated judging from how he started as a supposed neutral Journalist, to spot the mischief and maliciousness in his cruel articles. Scathing articles were released weekly on how the Mahama’s government was milking the country dry into the folder. A lot was written about how some appointees were engaging in naked thievery of public funds to expand their bank accounts, acquiring properties within and without, wiping the sorrowful tears of the side-chicks and all. Indeed, the folder was in active service with an amazing mission.
The articles of Manasseh’s folder did not spare any organization that had something to do with the then government. All their transactions, dealings and agreements with any government agency, ministry or even an appointee were quickly dropped into the folder. And how badly such deals were robbing the state coffers were boldly outlined for the public to judge and decide on the fate of the Mahama’s administration in the 2016 general elections. A car gift to the presidency which passed through all relevant state proceedings and protocols was painted by the writer of the folder as though, the president was a naked thief. The acidic mindset in the deployment of language in the said article describing how the then president had awarded a contract to one Mr Kanazoe, the Burkinabe contractor, before receiving the car and the corrupt acts in the gift was legendary. Mind you, that was actually an election year. Seen?
It became obvious to some of us that his folder was illogically conditioned to help rundown the government of former president John Mahama. For the avoidance of doubt, my younger brother’s vitriolic attacks on president Mahama and his government only pointed to his deep seated hatred for the NDC as a political party. Nothing was right with the government at the time for him. Not even the massive Infrastructural projects were visible to him. To him, such projects were simply borne out of massive corrupt practices and he nicely painted them terribly black before Ghanaians.
When a good writer is overtaken by hatred as pointer of his principle, real facts and issues are obfuscated. With such deliberate obfuscation which appeared priceless to my younger brother, readers of his folder were fed with half-truths meant to send off the former president and his administration. I bare my mind this way because I was always nauseated by Manasseh’s obsession with intolerance and bias in his articles about issues of the former administration. The man called John Mahama was assaulted daily by my younger brother and his ‘mission possible’ folder. The then appointees were labeled hardcore criminals who were only supposed to be languishing in a maximum prison somewhere in a thick forest heavily guarded by deadly hungry lions. The Nsawam prison was too nice to accommodate such hardened criminals.
Manasseh and his likes went wild and panic-stricken in the presentation of minor issues concerning private organizations with the then government. Zoomlion and others became vechicles that were comfortably used by the then government to perpetrate evil against Ghanaians. It became a dance of buzzing showy creatures buzzing to claim the honeycomb. My younger brother, the self-acclaimed anti-corruption crusader, with his folder became the leader of the buzzing creatures.
His massive works paid off heavily and the John Mahama administration was brutally rejected by Ghanaians. The Saints led by his senior Saint, Nana Akufo Addo had been elected to rescue Ghanaians from the supposed day-light robbers. Ghana, our beloved country was going to be turned into a promise land. A paradise of some sort, where our suffering would no more exist. The hardships that had overtaken the country were going to be but history. We all danced to it with high hope. Seen? Manasseh’s folder had helped done the magic. He deserved a profiteering award from President Akufo Addo.
But as it is said among the Kusasi people, ‘time is not a good friend, it soon exposes anybody who uses it to cover up his/her real attitude’. So two years down, Manasseh’s Saint of a President has been stripped naked by the grace of time. The preacher man true nature and real character is now clearly seen by all Ghanaians as a fake messiah who does not live by the Bible. President Akufo-Addo, has been truly demystified and unmasked before everybody by time. The man Manasseh and his likes sold to Ghanaians as the Saint is indeed a fake man. He is not the saviour Jesus Christ they told us.
Manasseh’s Saint President Akufo-Addo who criticized a less than 90 ministers under the former President made a total appointment of 110 ministerial. The number by far is the highest number of ministerial appointments made by any Ghanaian President. His appointment named three deputies for ministries like Finance, Information, Local Government and Rural Development as well as Energy. As if that was not enough, the President slapped Parliament with a list of 998 employees at the Presidency. Shameful efforts are underway to increase the number.
Historically, Vigilante groups loyal to the government led by Mr Saint President and a renowned human rights activist, the Delta Force went on rampage and forcefully ejected the nominee as Ashanti regional security coordinator nominated by the president. Also the Delta Force did not stop there but stormed the circuit court in Kumasi and freed 13 members of their group forcefully who have been arrested by the Ghana Police for acts of vandalism and lawlessness in court custody. Eight members accused of facilitating the escape of members of the group from lawful custody who were standing trial for allegedly assaulting the Regional Security Coordinator, Mr George Agyei and destroying property at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (ARCC) magically had the charges against them dropped. The Attorney General concluded there was insufficient evidence against the accused persons hence had the case dropped.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) sold 5 million litres of contaminated fuel to an unlicensed company Movepiina and Zup Oil which is alleged to have caused Ghana to lose 7 million Ghana Cedis in revenue. The sacked Minister of Energy, Mr. Boakye Agyarko came out to say the BNI has cleared BOST of any wrong doing which the Minority in Parliament believes its a cover up by the Government on in the contaminated fuel saga.
The Ministry for Special Development and Initiatives (first of its kind formed by the Akuffo Addo Government) headed by Mavis Hawa Koomson budgeted to use Gh¢800,000.00 to build a website. This generated a lot of backlash from the minority in parliament and also sparked a lot of controversy on social media which saw many Ghanaians joining the fray. Despite the uproar the dubious budget was approved due to the ruling party’s majority in parliament. The ministry of information on 27 December 2017 led by the minister Ursula OwusuEkuful awarded Kelni GVG company a controversial contract of US$89.4 million to monitor and track revenues by the TELCOS in Ghana . Ghanaians resisted and she boldly insisted and implemented such a rotten deal on us.
These are but just a few of the naked corrupt activities that are being perpetrated by the Saint government handed to Ghanaians by Manasseh and his likes. Yet no buzzing showy creatures are seen or heard. My younger brother folder has been folded though, corruption is at its highest peak. His investigative skills have been stripped off him and now he sees nothing wrong with a government that is always in the news for the bad reasons. At this time the exceptional writer and investigator who used to labour for investigative stories from the corridors of power to earn awards is disabled and mute.
Manasseh, the corruption crusader who laboriously lambasted the former government and prepared the Presidential seat for President Akufo Addo in the 2016 general election and for which he had become the priceless Journalist in the eyes of NPP members, is not flamboyantly flooding his folder with articles of his sincere fight against corruption in the country that is now fatter and taller.
My younger brother who used to be the buzzing creature keeps hermetically sealed lips on clear corrupt matters that affect the destiny of Ghana by such a reckless government ever imposed on the people of this nation. Manasseh’s folder has been folded because the purpose for which it was created has been achieved. There are visible achievements of Mr Mahama who he loves to vilify, but there are hardly any projects that his government can boast after two years in power. Manasseh’s Saint Akufo Addo’s administration can at best be characterized as a parchment of corruption and scroll of iniquities. Yet he dare not venture to expose such. Manasseh’s folder is folded.
The writer is a Senior Journalist, Managing Editor of The National Tribute newspaper and an activist of the National Democratic Congress, NDC. Email; firstname.lastname@example.org