Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has said he unlike under the Mahama administration where he felt safe as a journalist, his life has continuously been in danger under the Akufo-Addo administration.
“I felt very safe under former President Mahama and I have a number of colleagues who have also told me they don’t feel safe now so that should be the priority of this administration going forward”, Azure told Samson Lardy Anynini on Accra-based Joy FM’s Newsfile programme on Saturday, 31 October 2020, during a discussion on his documentary ‘Contracts for Sale’, which, eventually caused the President to sack the CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei.
According to Mr Azure, “For corruption, even if you are a politician, a civil society person or even the President; if you intend to seriously fight corruption, his own life will be threatened to some extent.
“So, the least he [President Akufo-Addo] can do for some of us, who are not secured as he is, is to give a body language that tolerates views and some of the things we do because politicians will always be our friend but we have different roles to play.”
Adducing evidence to buttress his comment that he felt safer as a journalist under the John Mahama administration, Mr Azure said: “When Ahmed Hussein-Suale was killed and he [President Akufo-Addo] went to the Ghana Bar Association conference in Takoradi, he made a statement to the effect that people shouldn’t take it as an attack on journalists.
“But we know that Ahmed Hussein-Suale was threatened, put on live television by Kennedy Agyapong, who is a leading member of his party, and he asked people to attack him [Ahmed Hussein-Suale] not because of anything but because of the work he has done.
“So, if an MP is killed and then we give all MPs security and then a journalist is killed, why say we shouldn’t take it as an attack on journalists?”
Further, he revealed that concerning his documentary on De-Eye Group, in connection with which he has been sued, “I was in court when the De-Eye Group sued and after I was going for my summons – because they claimed that they wanted to serve me but couldn’t find me, I went to court and told the judge that I wanted to be served – but when we finished, the lawyer for the people told me after he led me to the registry for me to be served that: ‘My brother, this is not a case that we should be dealing with in court, if you apologise to the old man, we will withdraw this case’”.
“I asked: ‘Who is the old man?’ And he said: ‘The President’. And I said: ‘The President is not a party to this case, so, why should apologoising to the President result in the withdrawal of the case?’”
“I was ready to go the full length but he said he is an NPP lawyer and that I shouldn’t doubt him,” he concluded.