I’ve had the occasion to discuss how we joke too much in this country. Recent events have reaffirmed that belief. It’s sad, isn’t it?
Of course, this country is fraught with many jokers parading as either journalists or politicians. But Manasseh Azure Awuni is not one of them. Indeed, he is one of the few respected journalists around.
It is the reason I became alarmed when I first saw the promo of his so-called exposé on ‘militias’ being trained at a security facility. I even became more alarmed when I saw gun-wielding masked militia on the poster of the promo. “This is going to be very explosive,” I soliloquized.
I cancelled an appointment with a friend last Thursday so I could watch the exposé. I was virtually on the edge of my seat when the documentary started. By the 10th minute, the advertised gun-wielding masked militia had still not appeared on the screen. Knowing Manasseh for who he was, I continued to watch with keen interest to the end.
Frankly, mine was a mixture of relief and disappointment. Although I was disappointed in Manasseh for the deliberate distortions and pure mendacity, I was also relieved that there were no militias in the documentary as the promo sought to portray.
It was a waste of my precious twenty minutes because what I saw in the documentary did not come close to the word ‘militia’. Only a mischievous journalist would describe the ladies and gentlemen I saw in the documentary as militia. I only saw nicely-dressed ladies and gentlemen who wielded no guns, knives and spears. Not even a catapult for bird hunting. And Manasseh refers to such a group as ‘militia’? A great joke indeed!
It is a great joke to look into the faces of the harmless beautiful ladies in the documentary and describe them as militias. It is a great joke because Manasseh could not provide a single violent incident from the group, yet described them as militias. It is a great joke because the so-called militia group ended up becoming prayer warriors for the ruling party. It is a great joke for Manasseh to now call the Osu Castle a security zone when the media outfit he works for had reported on 5th March, 2017, that the Osu Castle had been converted to a presidential museum.
Truth be said, Manasseh goofed badly this time. He only succeeded in causing fear and panic and subsequently raised people’s BP for nothing. The deliberate distortions and misrepresentations to fit his agenda are as reckless as they are unethical. We can, however, forgive him because he is not known for mischievous ploys.
It is very obvious that Manasseh tried pulling an ‘Anas’ on us, but failed miserably. But I still respect him as a good journalist. And that is why I’ve been very soft on him despite his failed mischievous ploy.
As expected, the Cantata group under the guise of Minority in Parliament capitalised on the so-called exposé and did what they know best – organizing a press conference. Conspicuously missing from the event was their leader, who was still drenched in the shame of his leaked tape. The reading skills of the Deputy Minority Leader could be compared to primary three pupils in my school.
Trust me, when I say they did not disappoint. They cracked the joke of the month when they shamelessly called on the President to resign. As I watched their press conference, I could not help but wonder if the word ‘integrity’ existed in their lexicon.
Abusuapanin, do you remember Mugabe Maase? I’m sure you do. But in case you don’t, he is one of the infamous Montie trio pardoned by then President Ogwanfunu. He has prophesied, predicted and threatened that Manasseh will soon be killed for airing his so-called exposé.
If this was a country where bad jokes were treated as such, Mugabe would be questioned and his actions closely monitored. But because many of us embrace jokes, Mugabe is still walking free after vomiting such balderdash. The police are waiting for something to happen to Manasseh before they pretend to take an action.
Were I a member of the leadership of the police, I would treat Mugabe’s bad joke as a threat. With the benefit of Elder Ofosu Ampofo’s tape, only a bunch of jokers would treat such a veiled threat as a joke.
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!
From Agya Kwaku Ogboro