Shocking new revelation shows that investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni of the Multimedia Group, has been driven into exile by agents seeking to assassinate him, following his undercover exposé that showed that the ruling party was facilitating the training of a group of party militia in a sensitive stated installation.
Professor Kofi Karikari, the founder of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) made this disturbing disclosure at a lecture during this year’s World Press Freedom day celebration in Ghana, saying those seeking to assassinate Manasseh are probably agents of faceless state actors.
According to the media guru, Manasseh spent most part of March and April this year, “Running and hiding from rogue elements of unknown identity who were bent on a campaign to murder him.”
The Police was forced to step in to protect the hapless investigative journalist, but that proved futile as the “Media Foundation for West Africa had to step in to find refuge or safe-haven for him in a foreign country.” It is currently impossible to know which country Manasseh is being kept for his safety.
The latest disclosure reinforces the growing reputation of Ghana as one of the top most dangerous environments for journalists in the world.
Manasseh recently did an undercover sting that exposed an illegal para-military group associated with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). The group calling itself De-Eye Group were given preferential treatment by allowing them to conduct military drills at the former Presidential Palace in Osu-Accra.
The group which receives training from retired military officers proudly boasted of the reputation as private security operatives associated with the NPP. Last year December, they were drafted as part of the security forces that guarded the President and several top government officials during the launch of the S.D Dombo Foundation at the Accra International Conference Centre.
The release of the undercover documentary if the activities of De-Eye group sent the ruling government into a frenzy as it became apparent that it was paying lip-service to its planned move to discourage violent partisan vigilantes in the country.
Multi-media is perhaps the biggest media conglomerate in Ghana, and the death threats on one of its top journalists have sent chills through many Ghanaian media organisations, particularly smaller organisations who may not have the requisite resources to protect their journalists that expose rot in the society.
Manasseh’s predicament is coming close in the heels of a similar assassination attempt on Starr FM’s journalist, , Edward Adeti who recently exposed an attempt by a Minister of State at the Presidency, Rockson Bukari to bribe him to suppress a story involving a contentious Chinese mining company in Ghana. Similar to Multimedia, Starr FM has been forced to employ a combined team of private bodyguards and police officers to protect the shaken journalist.
The list of the latest threat to press freedom is capped by the January murder of undercover journalists Ahmed Hussein-Suale of the Tiger Eye PI organisation. He was murdered in cold-blood close to his Madina residence, following what is believed to be his exposure of the disgraced President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwasi Nyantakyi in a rent-seeking racket that reportedly involved a questionable US$ 12 million bribe to be split between President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Mahmud Bawumia and several other top government officials.
Suale was murdered shortly after an angry NPP Member of Parliament for Assin North, Kennedy Agyapong exposed his identity and called for his lynching for making his government unpopular.
These series of alarming targeting of Ghanaian journalists have been captured in the Press Freedom Index of the international media watchdog-Reporters Without Borders (RSF) who last week rated Ghana as the top three most dangerous countries for journalists in Africa and one of the top 10 in the world
Source: Whatsupnews Ghana