General News of Saturday, 1 December 2012

Source: Joy Online

Ablakwa blames Manhyia MP for Ashtown violence

A deputy Information Minister is questioning why a sitting Member of Parliament and his team embarked on a house-to-house campaign with guns and machetes.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is blaming the Manhyia MP, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh and his team of campaigners in Thursday’s clash between one Gausu said to be part of the MP’s campaign and an area guy called Mafius in Ashtown-Kumasi which led to the latter being hospitalized after sustaining gun shot and machete wounds.

The MP and his team were on a house-to-house campaign when the clashes ensued but eye witness accounts have been varied.

The police have described the incident as criminal and have begun investigations into the matter.

Opoku Prempeh was arrested and granted bail with a sum of 30,000 cedis.

Speaking on MultiTV and Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday, the deputy Minister expressed shock at reports that the Manhyia MP was carrying weapons on his campaign.

Premising his arguments on eye witness accounts, the deputy minister said Dr Opoku Prempeh had no business carrying guns when he was only going to shake hands on a campaign trail.

“Is it in fulfillment of Nana Addo’s all-die-be-die?” he questioned.

Touching on the Kumasi peace pact, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the comments by Nana Akufo-Addo were ill-conceived.

He said instead of reinforcing the call for peace, the NPP flagbearer rather gave “conditions for peace” adding if those conditions were not met then there would be violence.

Okudzeto Ablakwa accused the NPP flagbearer of suffering from “selective amnesia” when he decided to cite one sided examples in his queries during the Kumasi declaration.

Reading statements and chronicling some comments by the NPP flagbearer since the inception of the 2012 election campaign, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said Akufo-Addo has never preached peace and on occasions when he tried to do so, he was dishonest about it.

But the editor in chief of the New Crusading Guide Malik Kweku Baako Jnr said the deputy Minister has been unfair in his analysis of the clashes in Kumasi and his description of the NPP flagbearer.

He said the deputy minister ought not to be making a conclusive remark and finding the Manhyia MP guilty merely on eye witness accounts, especially when those accounts came from a sister of the victim.

He questioned why Ablakwa did not include the eye witness accounts which said the victim was the first to shoot in the air, adding, he would rather the police are left to investigate the matter and make public their findings.

Whilst those findings will not be conclusive, Baako maintained it will provide the basis for a credible appraisal of the issue.

Malik Kweku Baako also criticised the deputy Minister for committing the same crime of selective amnesia he so eloquently accused Nana Akufo-Addo of.

Okudzeto Ablakwa had early on in the show quoted a portion of a statement by Nana Akufo-Addo and proceeded to describe him as a violent leader.

Baako, who had a copy of the same statement, read a lengthier version in which the NPP leader called for all parties to unite its rank and file for peace.

The New Crusading Guide editor said the penchant by politicians to pick and choose, splice statements of opponents for political and propaganda gains are to say the least unfortunate.