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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Columnist: Jamini, Samini

What Is Wrong With Manasseh Azure Awuni?

Is he that stupid?
Manasseh writes:
Am I missing something? Apart from the NDC, I am yet to read or hear from any of the think tanks, pressure groups such as the clergy condemn the violence in the NPP. Would they have been this quiet if it happened in the NDC? Or they don't think what is happening goes beyond the NPP and poses a serious threat to national security and the development of our democracy? Or we are being selective in the wrongs we condemn? I remember when Nana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the irresponsible all-die-be die utterances and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah of Joy 99.7 FM tried speaking to think tanks and influential persons and groups, he later announced that no one was willing to speak. It took a long time before he got Franklin Cudjoe of IMANI to speak. What is happening?

Yes, you’re missing something, the basics. First of all, it’s not true that only the NDC criticized the gruesome murder of Adams Mahama. Have you seen this?
What about this?
And this
And many many more.
Is Manasseh that stupid not to see what his own employer’s website publishes?

Second, is he that stupid to understand the definition of think tanks, pressure group, and clergy men/women? If so here is some help, a think tank is made up of experts on a particular subject providing advice on that subject. Example, Africa Center for Energy Policy, which ought to provides expert advice only on energy matters, and not about Mzbel’s newest hit unless it has to do with energy, period. Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Center, which deals with only security, etcetera, you get the idea of what think tanks do.

Manasseh, you don’t have to take my definition, here is what Mariam Webster Dictionary defines think tank: “: an organization that consists of a group of people who think of new ideas on a particular subject or who give advice about what should be done"
So yes, Manasseh you are missing quite a lot.

I’m lost about your cry to see pressure group in this matter. What difference will it bring? May be you’re having some definition problems again. According to Mariam Webster Dictionary, a pressure group is: “a group of people who share an interest, concern, or set of opinions and who try to influence politics or the policies of government, business, etc.”
Nobody in NPP is defending Adam’s murder neither is anybody claiming credit for it nor is anybody in NPP responsible for providing him security, at least not yet.
To put that in perspective, suppose pressure group A advocates for fair treatment of employees in the media. And assume joy has not paid you [Manasseh & Evans Mensah] your salary for three months that pressure group can demonstrate against joy, take all sort of legal actions against joy. However, the pressure group will remain mute: if Evans and Manasseh are fighting among themselves at joy. It is none of its business and it has nothing to do, period.
Clergy advises moral matters, and matters that affect the entire society during their sermons. Is that hard to comprehend. As a matter of fact, the clergy in Ghana has been so consistent when it comes to this matter (more on this later). Don’t tell me they have been very vocal about dumsor; dumsor affects everybody in Ghana, but party quibbles only affect party members.
Plus, the incident happened on Thursday, you expressed your disgust about the clergy on Saturday. Leaving out the crucial details that the influential pastors you are talking about almost always talk about national issues during their sermons not at joy fm offices on Saturday afternoons. I have looked them up, from Pastor Mensah Otabil to Rev William Duncan on joy online archives (I will be happy to provide you with links)
Are you that stupid to understand?
Manasseh are you stupid or you want to create a mischief when you as asked ? Would they have been this quiet if it happened in the NDC?
Answer: Yes, they would and they have been.
Can you count the number of times NDC supporters either burned down or threated to burned down their party offices, cars etc for not getting their preferred candidates for positions?
Can you count the number of times the party member fought among themselves or with the police?
And in all cases, and more importantly, the think tanks, pressure groups like the clergy said nothing, zilch, and zero. If they did, show me the links?
Alas, a clergy is not a pressure group, a point of correction, Mr. Manasseh.
This brings me to your second claim about national security. It’s a debatable that the NPP in-fighting is a national security issue. What is not debatable is that joy fm does not see it as such. Otherwise, why will joy fm give only give one time slot to Dr. Kofi Aning

And these time slots and countless many more




Is Manasseh stupid to know that neither Kofi Adams nor Aseidu Nketia has any special training in national security? Hence,his own employer will not and did not sort national security advice from them. But only politics—their trade.
Manasseh continuous:

Or we are being selective in the wrongs we condemn?

I am glad you asked, the honest answer is yes. Manasseh is not only selective in wrongs he condemn, he has no idea on what he is talking about.
The truth is, nobody in NPP is rejoicing the killing of Adams Mahama, for that matter the whole Ghana. Hence, hence, there is nobody to demonstrate against. Nobody in NPP, for that matter the whole Ghana, has been found guilty of killing Adams Mahama, not yet. Hence, there is nobody to condemn. The only thing NPP or pressure groups can do is to condemn that act. However, everybody can’t issue a statement to condemn that act, it’s simply not feasible.

And we don’t know whether killer(s) is/are NPP members or not. If Manasseh knows, he should inform the police.

And if I hate a crime without issuing a statement to condemn it, does it not COUNT?
After all, people have lives too. People at IMANI or any think tank have research obligations on their field of expertise but not to comment on every crime in Ghana unless the think tank is about crimes. Mr. Manasseh, have you noticed that, none of the NDC think tanks has said anything either? It’s because they don’t have to. Is it hard to understand? As a journalist you have to follow the event that is what you are paid for. But you following the events or issuing statements doesn’t make you more compassionate than anyone who doesn’t. At any rate, I haven’t heard anything from joy fm owner, does he condone the killing of Adams? Of course not. So what is the big deal?
False Equivalents
Manasseh continues:
I remember when Nana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the irresponsible
all-die-be die utterances and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah of Joy 99.7 FM tried speaking
to think tanks and influential persons and groups, he later announced that no one
was willing to speak.
What Nana said was in a political plat form and you should now that, at least after reading this, think tanks are not to translate political speeches except policy speeches. After all saying all-die-be- die was not said in vacuum, it was said in a middle of a sentences. That is why I took your entire paragraph to write this piece. Anybody’s phrase can be used to term them as warmongers or whatever.
After all, not all think tanks support NPP, it is a fact. Not all pressure groups (if we go by your definition—clergy) support NPP, it is the truth. Therefore, the issue was a political matter, and that is why even the NDC experts were not willing to talk on that matter. Do you get it?
Suppose for a minute that what Nana said was terrible and should be condemn. Was what President Rawlings said about Mills death been a blessing to NDC not terrible?
Isn’t it fair that, none of them got any attention from any think tanks? Isn’t fair that none of them got any attention from the clergy? Is it fair that some people demonstrated against Nana Addo’s statement but with the exception of Mills family how many people are demonstrating against Rawlings?
Mr. Manasseh, are you that stupid to know that perspective is important? Don’t you know that some loyal political party members all around the world will be willing to die for their parties? If you are then I want you to know that perspective is more important than what you say. If you don’t know I want you to know that people defines themselves by their parties.
Plus, it’s just a matter of false equivalence, what Nana said is at worst gaffe at best its inspiration to his party members to campaign harder and not to fear that their opponents could harm them. What Rawlings said is offensive at worst and an idiom at best.
However, when Mahama said he is a dead goat. It is irresponsible at best and arrogant at worst. Here is why? Teachers are his workers and any employer who said he is not sensitive to his employees demonstrating for back pay is irresponsible at best. Consider your employer joy, if your manager at joy refused to pay you for 3 months. Then go somewhere and say that he doesn’t mind if you demonstrate. He will stick to his own time table to pay you at his will. Is it selective condemning of wrong? If a pressure group, condemns is actions but doesn’t say anything if Evans and Manasseh are fighting? Is it selective condemning of wrong if an economics think tank condemn your boss action but not the in-fighting at joy?
What Is Wrong With Joy? What have we done to deserve this?
Ever since the heinous crime occurred, joy fm and most media houses in Ghana has been constantly politicizing the issue and or scaring its viewers and or showing them how to harm each other. Or all of the above.
Joy has been contacting almost every politician they can get to talk about the matter. What can you expect from politician other than politics, not to think so is naïve. For example, the genius at news file gathered politicians to talk about the crime for hours; and Manasseh whines if any of them does not it say what he likes to hear and thrills if anyone says what he has said, and he called him intelligent.
“Dr Aggrey Darko has really enriched Newsfile today. The man is really intelligent.”

What a pity? What an echo chamber?
How can joy brings politicians or political experts in to the show and expects them to say something else. They might as well make an iPhone from gari.
You see different experts see things differently. If you go to University Ghana (UG) and asked an economist for an advise about this incident. S/he will tell you that it’s lack of opportunity or unemployment or some economic reasons because that is what s/he is trained to do. However, if you asked a historian, s/he will tell you an incident in history and how it relates and how it can be solved in that angle because that is what s/he is trained to do. Likewise, If you asked a philosopher about the incident. S/he will tell about what the death really means philosophically because thus his/her training.
The list continues, etcetera etcetera it’s a long story cutting things out, it’s a long story.
That is why a journalist has to come in and choose who to speak to. When the journalist makes the wrong decision society pays the price.
What will I do different?
If I own a media house, I would have bring four different experts into my Newsfile show.
First guest: a competent medical doctor whose job will be educate the viewer’s on how to react should the unfortunate incident happen to anyone of them. The kind of help they can get at the local level to save their lives. Instead Joy Fm took the ugly path of showing viewers how to buy the acid to kill each other.
What a pitty? Is that what journalism has become?
The second guest: a competent criminologist whose job will be educate the viewers on how to help with the investigation, how a standard murder investigation is done, what to expect from the investigation, etc. Moreover and more important, dos and don’ts in such attack in a way to help with investigation should such a thing happen to them. Etc.
The third guest: a competent Lawyer, who will educate the public about the legalities, what to say and what not to say. What is prejudicial and etc.
The fourth and final guest: will be an imam, a pastor, and traditionalist to talk about the moral of killing an innocent person. What awaits you the perpetrator.
Conclude, the show my allowing Ghanaians to call in to wish adams and his family well, and solidarity messages to all of Ghanaians.
Why can’t joy does something similar to or even better than mine? And stop pandering to politicians.
To quote Manasseh,
What is happening?