Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni says he is friends with former President John Dramani Mahama and has met him personally a number of times.
According to him, despite being a critic of the former president, they had good and cordial relations which extend as far back as when Mahama was occupying the presidency.
GhanaWeb monitored comments that the former Multimedia Group journalist made when he appeared on the April 28 edition of Momeen Tonight, a programme on the state broadcaster, GTV.
“I have met President Mahama and I can say if you are talking about politicians who are gentlemen, I will say he is one of them, tolerant to a fault.
“When I was doing this book (The Fourth John), I met him, interviewed him… there were some of his people who said; look, Manasseh cannot do this thing to you and still want to have an interview with you to do this book.”
He also recalled a personal visit to the home of the then-sitting president: “And whiles President Mahama was in office, we were still friends but that did not stop me from criticizing him. I remember ever visiting him in his house and it was the First Lady Lordina Mahama who came and served me Malta Guinness.”
He stressed that their relationship was markedly different from what the average person perceived.
Manasseh added that with the nature of his job, he did not expect everyone to agree with or accept his methods: “So I don’t expect everybody to agree with the kind of work that I do. You should be able to criticize my work and I also criticize yours.”
In the post-Mahama era, social media posts that he has made claiming that the current government led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had proven to be worse by way of performance, many people have asked that he apologize for the role he played in Mahama losing the 2016 re-election bid.
Manasseh, however, reiterates that he stood by all the stories he did and had no regrets doing them but that all his work as hard-hitting as they were, were professional.
To persons who ask that I apologize to Mahama: “My response is that if I had the opportunity to do all the stories I did in the Mahama era, I will do them again.
“There is no single one of them that I had 0.001% regret. I did them to the best of my ability, so I will do them again.
He continued: “I don’t have any regrets, I am just doing my work as a journalist and at the time, those who are saying this – calling for apologies today – (were saying) Manasseh is not an investigative journalist, you lost credibility, you take an audit report and you are running around saying you are doing investigations.
“Today, those same people are saying I made them lose elections, no. I am just doing my job,” he stressed.