Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni says unlike the tenure of former President John Dramani Mahama where media personnel felt safe to go about their work, the same cannot be said about the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
This, according to Mr. Azure is because the body language of President Akufo-Addo shows a lack of tolerance for views and criticisms of media personnel.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr. Azure who was touching on his security with regards to the decision by the government to sack Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei as Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) based on his investigation, urged the President to show more concern.
“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.
“For corruption, even if you are a politician, a civil society person or even the President; if you intend to seriously fight corruption his (President’s) 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.”
He said, for the past four years, his safety and security have been a major issue with colleagues and family members constantly reminding him to be careful.
He told host, Samson Lardy Anyenini that, although he has psychologically become conscious of his safety, he still does not feel protected under the watch of the President.
“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?”
Giving more examples to back his claims that the President was not tolerant of media critics, Manasseh Azure Awuni said he was told to apologize to the President for various criticisms he has shared on his administration if he wanted a case he has been sued for dropped.
“I was in court when the De-Eye Group sued and after I was going for my summon 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 apologize 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.