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General News of Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Source: The Al-Hajj

NPP plan rousing welcome for Eric Amoateng

The opposition New Patriotic Party is said to be planning a ‘mammoth welcome party for its ex-Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, currently languishing in CI Moshannon Valley prison in the USA, for trafficking 136 pounds of heroin, valued at over $5 million, and who is expected to be released later this year.

Well-known for organizing such heroic welcome for their party folks anytime they have a brush with the law, the leadership of the NPP, according to an insider has fashioned-out a glorifying celebration to adore the ‘heroin trafficker’, and in a subtle manner praise him for a good work done.

As if trafficking heroin and getting imprisoned for it has become a world class enviable achievement, the NPP, whose membership, particularly the leadership is yet to come clean of allegations of deeply immersed in illicit drug trade, are said to be brimming with smiles that at long last their ‘drug hero’ would be set free.

Just as the NPP, then in government and had the majority in Parliament failed to declare the Nkoranza North seat vacant on the face of overwhelming evidence showing Mr. Amoateng’s involvement in the 136 pounds heroin deal, all in the name of solidarity, many have said it is not surprising that the party intends to give him a heroic welcome.

“The kind of love and solidarity that was shown Ken Agyapong when he was released from police jail for declaring war and calling for the slaughtering of Ewes and Gas; and Ken Kuranchie after serving his 10 days sentence for criminal contempt, will be extended to Eric Amoateng, but his will be bigger than what we did to the duo,” a source told The Al-Hajj.

Though the convicted ex-NPP MP is expected to be released in July, it is still unclear if his parole would be in the US, nonetheless, the source said functionaries of the NPP are unrelenting in their effort to celebrate their ‘hero’. “The plan is that anytime he is allowed to come to Ghana, we will mass up at the airport in our numbers to welcome him and trust me that would not be all, we have planned something befitting for a hero like him”

The source went on to brag that “the number of NPP supporters that will meet Eric Amoateng at the airport would be a quintuple of the number of people that normally thronged the airport to welcome any of the national teams when they return home after making a good showing in a tournament.”

It would be recalled that the ex-Nkoranzah North MP was arrested on December 11, 2005 in the United State for trafficking heroin worth over $5 million dollars, and in a December 12, 2007 judgment, Mr Amoateng was sentenced to a 10-year jail term by Judge David G Tragger.

Ironically, whereas his incarceration became a monumental image denting episode in the eyes of the international community, his constituents, mainly members of the NPP, held series of demonstrations chanting that irrespective of the illicit drug tag on him, they will forever regard him as their MP due to his philanthropic and benevolent activities.

In a sordid political decision which many said confirmed rumors that Mr Amoateng’s illicit drug money was meant to finance the NPP’s 2008 campaign, then President John Agyekum Kufuor was said to have thwarted investigations into the assets of Eric Amoateng and one Nii Okai Adjei, his accomplice, for the purposes of confiscating them to state in accordance with PNDC law 236.

In fact, the party made several fruitless attempts to bring Amoateng back to face trial in Ghana but the US officials, knowing the NPP for their manipulative and deceitful nature turned down their request and went ahead to make him face the law in the US.

But now that he is set to come home, NPP officials are marking time and waiting to absorb him back to their fold not as an ex-convict “but a celebrated hero”.

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