A few weeks ago, Manasseh Azure Awuni produced an important documentary that exposed the unlawful, criminal, and violent operations of an armed group associated with the ruling party. Since then many people have expressed concern about Manasseh’s seeming silence or disappearance from the media scene.
Deeply troubling campaign of death:
Now Communications Lecturer and former Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa, (MFWA,) Prof Kwame Karikari has lifted the curtain on the evil machinations targeted at Manasseh. Prof Karikari, speaking at a World Press Freedom Day event, states:
“In most of March and April this year, the very well-known and highly respected investigative journalist of The Multimedia Group fame, Manasseh Azure Awuni, spent virtually all of this period running and hiding from rogue elements of unknown identity, who were bent on a campaign to murder him. At first, Manasseh’s employers kept moving him from hiding place to hiding place. The police came in to provide him with bodyguards for [his] protection during the day, but even this was not enough. The threats got so unbearable that the Media Foundation for West Africa had to step in to find a refuge or a safe haven for him in a foreign country.”
Responsibility, Accountability and Authority
1. The evil elements threatening the life of Manasseh Azure Awuni must be identified, exposed, and prosecuted.
2. The Government and the ruling party, whose unconstitutional and destabilizing schemes Manasseh’s documentary exposed, must come out to show that they are not after the life of this young man. They cannot continue to use legal and other means to intimidate, silence, and threaten this conscientious and patriotic journalist.
3. Leadership at all levels of Ghanaian society must condemn this troubling development, that has already seen one investigative journalist Ahmed Suale killed this year. Traditional leaders need to raise their voices. Leaders of the Christian and Muslim faiths must be heard. Leadership of all influential groups, civil society organisations, and conscientious citizen-members of the ruling party must take a stand.
Has the Ghana Journalists Association, GJA, offered its unalloyed support? What about the other professional bodies in Ghana? If Manasseh can be threatened with death and harm to the extent that he had to be taken out of the country for a while then no one is safe to do their job in Ghana.
4. Every well-meaning Ghanaian must RISE UP, SPEAK UP, and PRAY UP, against this new culture of death and death threats against Manasseh or any journalist. No Ghanaian of conscience, faith, and patriotism should rest until this vile and evil veil of death is removed from the media, social, and political space in Ghana. What sort of nation are we, when we turn against our conscientious citizens who sacrifice and serve for the greater good?
MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA.
MAY WE CHERISH FEARLESS HONESTY.
MAY WE STAND ON THE SIDE OF TRUTH – FOR TRUTH THAT STANDS, AND PREVAILS, AGAINST ALL EVIL.
Columnist: Ben Dotsei Malor