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General News of Saturday, 29 December 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Minister Mystery Death: Blow-By-Blow Account

The sudden death of the Volta Regional Minister, Henry Ford Kamel, has been described by many as mysterious, as the medical superintendent of the Jasikan District Hospital, Dr. Samuel Abudey, family members and friends cannot explain the true cause of death.

Persons who spoke to DAILY GUIDE yesterday from the late Minister’s family house at Guaman in the Jasikan District of the Volta Region were yet to come to terms with the death of the Minister.

They all took turns to recount how strong and energetic he was, minutes before he fell unconscious and died. They also wondered why he had to die on Christmas day, exactly four days after his birthday.

Dr. Abudey confirmed to DAILY GUIDE that the Minister who was the Member of Parliament-elect for Buem, died before arrival at the hospital last Tuesday December 25, 2012.

As a result, the hospital authorities transferred the body to the 37 Military Hospital in Accra for autopsy.

Dr. Abudey noted that the window between his unconsciousness and death was very short.

“The whole thing happened too fast and quick,” he said.

He explained that “if you consider the distance from Guaman to Jasikan, about 10 minutes and how the Minister died before arriving at the Hospital, it is too quick. There is nothing anyone could have done.”

Funeral Rites

The family yesterday informed Municipal and District Chief Executives who had come to console them that the funeral rites for the late Minister would be done after the inauguration of President John Mahama.

Furthermore, they were still considering where to observe the one week- either in Accra or Guaman.

The family house and the village had been clad in red and black as many mourn the MP. Some of them, including the late Minister’s auntie, Edna Budu, were wailing uncontrollably when DAILY GUIDE visited the place.

Two of the five persons who were with Mr Kamel before he fell unconscious and died, narrated how the events unfolded to DAILY GUIDE.

Henry Adjei Addae, his childhood friend, was sitting on his right while his uncle, Kofi Baffour Asare, was on his left.

According to them, the Minister arrived in the village on Monday December 24, the eve of Christmas, around 2pm and organized a small get-together for party members and the community later that evening.

Mr Adjei said the next morning, the Minister and MP received visitors and well wishers at the family house where he stayed whenever he visited the village.

He added that they were planning towards a gargantuan constituency victory rally today, Friday December 28.

They said they were under a summer hut at about 10 to 10:30am discussing some issues when suddenly the Minister’s phone fell.

In an attempt to alert him, they realized he was falling backwards in his chair and so they immediately grabbed him calling out, “Honourable! Honourable!!” without any response.

He was immediately rushed to the Jasikan Hospital where they were told that the Minister had already died. This was about 11am. Two doctors initially confirmed his death before the medical superintendent, Dr. Abudey, later re-affirmed it about 11:45am.

Immediately, the party’s hierarchy and other key stakeholders were contacted to facilitate the transfer of the body to Accra.

At about 1:30pm, a helicopter touched down at the RC school park in Jasikan to convey the corpse to the 37 Military Hospital after 40 minutes.

According to Kofi Baffour Asare, who accompanied the wife of the deceased and a nurse on the flight, the crowd that besieged the school park was overwhelming.

The death of the calm man had been met with tributes right from the Presidency, through the party hierarchy, the opposition as well as family friends and the general public.

Many of the tributes had described him as accommodating, firm, free and forthright.

Henry Ford Kamel was born on December 21, 1961 and had been the MP for Buem since 2004.

He was a product of Ho Polytechnic. He was a banker and left behind a wife and three children.

His wife, Helen Kamel, had through a family friend, Afua Djansi Asamoah, denied media allegations that her husband received a phone call from someone who threatened him with court action.

According to Accra-based Radio XYZ, the widow of Mr. Kamel denied ever granting an interview to any media house, let alone stating that her husband died while talking with his Deputy, Henry Ametefe.

Afua was quoted as saying the late Volta Regional Minister’s wife “has not spoken to any journalist.”

She added that “we want to put it on record that the reporter never spoke to the widow and the Regional Minister was not on phone when the [incident] happened.”

Helen Kamel was said to be in the kitchen when the incident occurred while the late Kamel was interacting with party supporters.

She therefore gave the reporter a two-day ultimatum saying, “We are just giving the reporter two days to retract the story and apologise to the widow. This is not a good time for her to be dragged into this,” she warned.

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