Mannasseh Azure Awuni, the drab JoyNews investigative reporter, has been the target of obscene and malicious attacks, some of them bordering on ethno-tribalism, for what I will deem innocuous Facebook post describing the President's speech on Thursday as incoherent, angry and lacking substance.
Mr. Awuni, who until this barrage of attacks, has been in the good graces of Nana's supporters, is a popular, fine young writer. He is probing, fearless and dynamic. He investigates and exposes corrupt public officials with unparalleled zeal and throbbing enthusiasm. Small wonder, he has won accolades from his peers and heaps of praise from the public.
In his criticism of Mr. Addo's address to the nation, Awuni did not hold anything back. He said the speech was hot rhetoric, empty and full of innuedos. He went to question the President's temperament and hypocrisy on issues that once divided the nation, such as the GITMO 2 and the Ameri Deal. All in all, Mr. Awuni, true to form, was unforgiving. Lets just say he stuck to his principles.
But Nana's throng of supporters on social media did not take kindly to the fair and objective evaluation of their man's address. They immediately pounced on Mr. Awuni with a ferocity and hatred that should only be reserved for the most debased in society.
They heaped scorn and insults on him, and some even crossed the line, throwing doubt on his professionalism and casting aspersions on his ethnicity.
The attacks on Awuni are deplorable, unbelievable, disgraceful and dangerous. They exposed the ugly underbelly of the ruling NPP which is that the party is hypertribal and highly intolerant of divergent views.
These supporters of the President ought to bury their heads in the sand for bringing a vigorous debate on a very important national issue into disrepute. I don't think Nana would have approved of their abhorrent and obscene behavior.
The most shocking thing about the attacks on Mr. Awuni by a disgruntled segment of NPP supporters is that he was once their darling boy, their most sought after journalist. He chronicled the Mahama administration's alleged dalliance with corruption with a style they loved. They sang his praises endlessly. In fact, it could be safely said that Awuni was to some extent partially responsible for Mahama's electoral defeat in 2016.
Some detractors of Awuni shed no tears for him. They say he deserves every indignity thrown at him by some of Nana's supporters. After all, they remark, he sold his soul to the devil by working for Multimedia corporation, a media organization that is widely known to be partisan and one sided in its political coverage.
I have my philosophical and professional differences with the young man. But all the same, I think the attacks on him are unacceptable and cowardly. No high ranking public official, let alone a president, is immune from or should be shielded from criticism. Public officials deserve scrutiny at all times, and Nana is no different. Let us all, especially his supporters, bear that in mind