Flourishing under NPP’s freedom of speechNdc’s ambassador causes stir at People`s Assembly
Drama unfolded at the Christ the King Parish hall, venue of the much publicized 'Jubilee People's Assembly' when 'Dr' Asem Fofro a noted serial-caller and defender of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) launched an attack on President J. A. Kufuor and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
After delivering a detailed speech, which expounded the achievements of his government, President Kufuor availed himself for questions, which saw several people queuing for their turn.
Third in queue during the question and answer time, came 'Dr.' Asem Fofro, who fired at the President, accusing his administration of intentionally persecuting persons noted to be members of the then NDC government under the pretext of being corrupt.
He noted that there are several ministers in the present government who are neck-deep in acts of corruption but yet are not being prosecuted as in the case of members of the NDC.
He therefore asked the President and his government to stop pursuing the legal action against the wife of the former President, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, who is now facing charges in court.
In the end Asem Fofro challenged the president to invoke a curse upon himself if he has indeed never dipped his hands into state coffers.
He also accused the President for the death of Victor Selormey, saying the latter died out of frustrations emanating from the embarrassment meted out to him by the NPP government when they succeeded in putting him behind bars.
He continued that the President and his Ministers have decided to jail all former ministers of state during the NDC era, by hiding behind the concept of rule of law, just to deceive the general public.
“If you say you are clean and haven't embezzled the country's money invoke a curse,”
Asem Fofro charged in his spirited attack at the President.
He raised the issue of the controversial Castle kickback scandal that rocked the seat of government, in which former National Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Harona Esseku was captured on tape making inferences to the President keeping monies described as kickbacks at the seat of government.
This attracted stint comments from the gathering, thereby throwing the entire hall into confusion.
As he sought to continue with his commentary, the security men present set upon him to whisk him away, as the audience jeered and booed at him.
But 'Dr.' Asem Fofro had already set the room agog, as proceedings came to a stand still for well over five minutes, until the moderator of the programme, Government Spokesman on Governance Frank Agyekum and Information Minister Kwamena Bartels were able to bring the situation under control.
The President in his reaction advised the public to desist from such frivolous allegations and comments, because such comments and allegations could inflame passions to cause pandemonium among the citizenry.
He however refuted the allegations of taking kickbacks, saying it is never true that Esseku had publicly made those allegations, hence challenging the public to present any available evidence to the police, since he (the president) is not above the laws of the country.
He took the opportunity to appeal to the public to respect the office of the President in the interest of democracy.
At the time of filing this story, the whereabouts of Dr. Asem Fofro was not known.
At last year's People's Assembly held at Cape Coast, Dr. Asem Fofro launched an attack on then Minister of Information, Mr. Dan Botwe, accusing him of having tried to restrain him from accessing the microphone. He at that time condemned the National Health insurance Scheme, citing his personal experience involving his wife as an example.
President Kufuor also took time to defend one of his 'darling boys' and beleaguered former Transport Minister, Dr. Richard Anane, when he was queried on the scandal that saw his exit from the ministry.
In answering the question on Dr Anane and the controversial 'Hotel Kufuor' saga which he was initially linked to, the President nearly lost his temper but was cautious and warned that the public should be cautious in making such allegations without proven facts to back them.
The President noted that Dr. Anane was a very respectful man in the society, having gone through a lot of studies that qualified him as a professional Medical officer.
He emphasized that when the issue first popped up, Dr. Anane himself openly admitted having had an affair with Alexandra O'Brien, which resulted in the birth of a son but did not hide behind any cover.
Though it was a human error, the President indicated that he was deeply hurt when the issue popped up since Dr. Anane was a very hard working minister.