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MANASSEH’S FOLDER: The Day I Met My Meter
 
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23-Mar-2017  
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Since we're in the world of insults where people gleefully vilify each other; let me first develop a "dead goat" syndrome to perhaps the comments that will follow this piece.

To those of you who will be quick to also think or suggest that I want to ride on some fame or Manasseh Azure's fame resulting in this write-up, please allow me to address this issue of fame.

I'm already famous. Oh yes! I'm so famous to my family, friends and colleagues. So, please I do not seek any other fame or whatsoever. Now, let’s move on!

I believe social media users may have followed updates on Facebook this week. Award-winning Ghanaian investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has been trending on social media since Tuesday after criticizing the decision to host the ongoing Africa CEO forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Manasseh, in his Facebook post on Tuesday, March 21, wrote "Why is the Africa CEOs conference being held in Europe? The over 1000 participants will book hotels, eat, shop and move around. So much cash will be invested in Geneva. Why not an African city? Is this rocket science or common sense? Or something I am missing?"

His post attracted comments from people but one striking comment which has since gone viral is that from a Facebook user called Nana Kwame.

"Why did you choose to do your wedding at Aburi gardens and not your local village, where Otabil and others could see the deprived nature of your people. And use your wedding to inspire the up and coming youth to aim high like u. Probably that local plantain sellers goods could be purchased by the city dwellers. Is this rocket science or common sense or something I am missing??" Nana Kwame fired back.

Well, Nana Kwame's comment, to put on record, received thousands of Facebook likes than the original post by Manasseh Azure as at the time he posted his "analytical" scrutiny on his wall.

I want to also put on record that Manasseh is a good friend but it doesn't mean we should always agree though we're friends. It is Manasseh's reply to Nana Kwame that has necessitated my write-up today because in my perspective, my dear friend has just opened himself up for public ridicule.

Azure is a prolific writer. He's one of Ghana's best. Take it, Like it or leave it but you can’t underrate the knowledge and passion of Azure. His sense of reasoning and writing skills is unbeatable. I've known him to be a very good philosopher to say the least.

Having established some of his credentials, I strongly think Azure goofed this time. Replying Nana Kwame is equally the lamest action taken by him as he described the latter's comments to be.

In fact, it’s alright for Azure to question the logic in holding the conference in Geneva but as a journalist; what I expected him to do, in reply to his critic, was to provide reasons and findings on why the CEOs decided to host the forum in Geneva.

He would have absolved himself if his findings proved the organizers’ reasons were lame. Manasseh is a very good journalist, so what stopped him from making some research to support his reply. So, I decided to do some research on the Africa CEO forum (ACF).

From their official website, I write: "The Africa CEO forum is a unique platform for discussion and debate around the economic and industrial challenges facing the African continent. Organized by the Group Jeune Afrique and rainbow unlimited, in partnership with the African Development Bank, the forum has become the foremost international event dedicated to the development of the private sector in Africa".

"The 2016 edition of the Africa CEO forum was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 21 and 22 March. This was the first time that the event took place on the African continent" the report further read.

In respect of this, I think it will be in the right order to at least appreciate that the Africa CEO forum has been held in the African continent before, just a year ago.

So, if the organizers think it right to change the venue and hold it in another place this year, what's really wrong with that? But all the same, Azure has a point.

Surely, it would have made a difference in perhaps the living conditions of Africans if the organizers had held the conference here for the second time. However, according to the ACF report, the forum is a meeting for CEOs of “African and international companies, bankers and investors as well as high-level decision makers”.

Obviously, it is not just focused on Africa but internationally. Before one makes any sound deductions, I think it would be better for Azure, as a journalist, to spend his energy on educating Ghanaians on the pros and cons of the forum and the need for it to be held in Africa always since that's apparently his logic. And please before anyone comes at me like a wounded lion ready to devour me, may I remind you that I'm also an African.

Having established these premises, let’s go back to Azure's humiliating riposte to Nana Kwame that has earned him several bashings than before. He took time to return with a lengthy reply to Nana Kwame's comment and if you want to read all, please visit his Facebook post. I can't reproduce all here but only address some portions of it.

Azure, in replying his critic, stated emphatically that "Of all the comments, the lamest argument was the one that went viral, perhaps because it was a personal attack on me and those sharing it gleefully did not take the time to think and detect how illogical and senseless it is. One Nana Kwame, who posted the comment, asked why I did not take my wedding to my village but decided to have in Aburi. He added that my wedding could have inspired the children in the village to rise and that the plantain seller could have got money. This is what some people find as a classic response".

Well, my dear friend, no one really found Nana Kwame's response classic. It's in your mind that you deem it classic because to have singled him out and then glorified his comment on your Facebook wall means you might have seen it as classic.

Also, Azure has been vociferous in his posts and expressed his mind freely. I therefore wonder why he didn't expect anyone to express his mind freely as well. Nana Kwame's response, though a bit personal, wasn't insulting but Azure’s reply is. Why? Is it because you are frustrated or you rather think he flawed you?

Manasseh went further to justify his wedding at Aburi instead of his hometown and indeed his reasons are classic. You see, my brother, you have good reasons for holding your wedding at Aburi. I think the organizers of the African CEO forum may also have good reasons too. What makes you think your reasons are cogent but theirs somehow lacks common sense?

Need I remind readers that I'm not on any side? I'm only analyzing…

"The nearest Nana Kwame came to making sense was the last bit about the plantain seller making money, but that is flawed. What he forgot is that Aburi Garden is not in Europe or Dubai. Aburi is in Ghana so, unlike the Africa CEOs, my expenditure on that day was an investment in Ghana in Ghana...About 95% of my wedding guests lived in Accra (where my wife and I live) and Takoradi (where my wife's family members are) so it saves cost from transporting everybody to a journey of nearly 20 hours to Bongo," Manasseh Azure speaking.

My question is did the 95% of the wedding guests inform you they wouldn't make it to the remarkable ceremony if you perhaps held it at Bongo? What makes you think a larger percentage of the CEOs live in Africa? Do you know how many of them who also don't live in Africa or peradventure Geneva was just an appropriate venue for the forum this year?

These are some things among others I thought you would clarify in your reply, Azure, instead of attacking the wisdom of your critic. It would have even made perfect sense if after making relevant findings on the forum; you came out to rubbish the response to your post.

But not when you attack the organizers of an event and someone also takes delight in addressing your wedding, you suddenly see that as an attack on your personality. Did you equally see your post as an attack on the personalities of the organizers of the forum?

Another thing Manasseh said in his reply is that " . . . the Africa CEOs and our President” will “have to travel long distances to Europe to attend this conference. This would have made sense if Nana Kwame was able to tell us that majority of Africa's CEOs live and work in Europe so it is easier to meet in Europe than in Africa".

Is this not what Mr. Azure should have rather fed the public with? You should have shamed Nana Kwame by giving answers to these questions. What you have done is to open yourself up for another rebuttal.

"For how long shall we continue to shun our continent and taking African events somewhere because there are challenges? Would Asian or European CEOs come to Africa or go to another continent to hold their conferences?" Azure further wrote on his wall.

Please Sir, you really have a brilliant point there. These are genuine concerns. Africa shouldn’t be relegated. We deserve equal share. It's time for Africa to shine. Kudos bro!

But what you may or may not know is that the African CEO forum is an event organized jointly by Groupe Jeune Afrique, publisher of Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report, also in partnership with "Rainbow Unlimited, a Swiss company specializing in the organization of economic promotion events".

A Swiss company is one of the partners of the forum, so don't you also think it makes some sense to hold this year's event in a partners' country?

Manasseh Azure further asked what’s wrong with him questioning the move by the African CEOs. "…is there anything wrong with questioning such a move", he questioned his critic.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong . . . not at all!

However, is there also anything wrong with Nana Kwame questioning your move to hold your wedding in Aburi? The bottom line for me here is that it was needless for Manasseh Azure to have replied Nana Kwame’s comment, let alone dedicate his wall to him.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Azure for reviving my writing skills after taking a long vacation. Thank you, Boss.

"Silence is golden" – Azure - sometimes you just got to let certain things slide. And since you never cease to give proverbs, please allow me to drop you one in my conclusion:

"A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret". I rest my case!






 
 
 
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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