Awarding-winning freelance investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has reacted to assertions by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia that former President John Dramani Mahama is “nice” but incompetent, stating that John Mahama faces an opponent who is equally incompetent and yet not nice.
At a New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Youth Rally and Walk-in Tamale last weekend, Vice President Bawumia lamented that even though former President Mahama is a nice man, he demonstrated incompetence when he was President and deserved not to be given the reins of political power again.
This claim of his was amplified on Twitter by leading NPP member and cousin of President Akufo-Addo, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, on twitter.
But Manasseh Azure Awuni reacted swiftly and laconically with a riposte which read: “The incompetent one is nice versus the incompetent one who is not nice.”
His tweet suggests that President former President Mahama will face Akufo-Addo who has been campaigning to be reelected President for four more years in the 2020 Presidential election, implying that President Akufo-Addo is the incompetent and not nice person.
At the programme, Vice President Bawumia admitted that former President Mahama is a nice person but reminded Ghanaians of how he mismanaged the economy and caused hardship in the country, stressing that the NPP needed to be retained so that they can continue to execute their programmes and implement their policies.
Mahama’s government was accommodating to criticisms
In July this year, Manasseh observed that the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama Administration appears to have been more accommodating to criticisms than the current Akufo-Addo led government.
Basing his argument on trend of happenings including the arrest of two journalists with online portal, ModernGhana, he said “My candid view is that the Mahama government was more accommodating of criticism, no matter how scathing, than what we are experiencing now. I was one of the most critical journalists of that regime so I know what I’m talking about”.
According to him in a Facebook post, there appears to be an overwhelming concern among journalists that Akufo-Addo’s government is hostile towards journalists who criticize his administration.
His posts reads in part;
Those of us in the media and civil society groups must pay serious attention to this case. The truth should, and will come out. For now, it may be too early to tell whose side of the story is true.
From my independent observation and interactions with colleague journalists, however, there appears to be overwhelming concern among journalists that Akufo-Addo’s government is about the hostile journalists and critics.
The government appears very intolerant and there appears to be a coordinated attempt to crush those who speak up. My candid view is that the Mahama government was more accommodating of criticism, no matter how scathing, than what we are experiencing now. I was one of the most critical journalists of that regime so I know what I’m talking about.
Whether this observation is looked at as a perception or reality, President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo and his government may want to work on this. Oppression of free speech is one of the worst things Ghanaians can experience under a president who is touted as a human rights champion.
Our democracy has not yielded much dividends besides our freedom to rant about the ills in our body politic. If this is freedom to clear our chests is hampered, then we won’t be any better than a military regime.
Incidentally, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, is one of the finest journalists this nation has ever seen and it should be an indictment on him if this concern among journalists in Ghana is allowed to fester under his watch.