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03.10.2008 NPP News

After Metro TV episode NPP `Blowman` strikes againTurns party meeting into boxing ring

By Zam R. Samin Takoradi - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Minister for Aviation and Member of Parliament for Effia-Kwesimintsim (MP) 'Hon' Joe Baidoo Ansah, who recently caused a stir on a live television programme 'Good Evening Ghana,' on Metropolitan Television (Metro TV), is in the news again.

This time round, he is alleged to have engaged some members of his constituents last Sunday, in physical blows. This was barely hours after the visiting NPP leader had issued a strong warning to the MP, at a testy minutes encounter at the Takoradi Beach Hotel, The Chronicle learnt.

One Assembly Member for West Tanokrom, Effia-Kwesimintsim, Mr. Samuel K Anderson, who is also a polling station chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was alleged to have received the first blow, for questioning the MP about what he had done for the constituency, at a ward meeting in Lagos Town, chaired by the same assembly member.

Another person, Mr. Isaac Ofei, was alleged to have been pummeled by the MP, who allegedly strangulated him till he fell on the ground, and was then set upon by the Youth Organizer of the party, Malam Abdul Ganiyu, and other thugs, who have been following the MP round in a pick-up, driven by his goons.

Mr. Anderson, when contacted by The Chronicle for confirmation of the incident, expressed worry over the conduct of the MP.

According to him, the MP nearly drew blood, when he engaged almost all the NPP members in the Lagos Town ward at the said meeting, with about five thugs. The thugs, he alleged, were hired from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the constituency.

He told The Chronicle that the meeting was held to deliberate on matters affecting the party and the constituency, and had nothing to do with the MP therefore the he (Aviation Minister) was not invited to the meeting, which was organised by the ward.

Continuing, Mr. Anderson said, he was the surprised when the MP popped up at the meeting grounds, with about five thugs accompanying him.

He said though the agenda of the meeting was to deliberate on the way forward for the NPP, and how the constituents could help their flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, secure the baton of the country's leadership, without having to go through a second round of voting - a One Touch victory.

The sudden appearance of the MP at the meeting grounds changed the agenda of the meeting to the issue of skirt and blows, which he is currently battling with in the constituency.

He said Mr. Baidoo Ansah's first question at the meeting was, “who are those going round saying they will vote skirt and blows. Have you seen what Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom is now doing to the NPP, after we have made him an MP?”

This question, Mr. Anderson explained, had its first answer from one lady (name withheld), who enquired from the MP what he had done to merit their votes. This answer, he said, did not go down well with the MP, who allegedly advanced menacingly on the young lady.

But, one of the constituency members, Mr. Isaac Ofei, who could not fathom the action of the MP, then rushed to the aid of the lady, who had a baby tied to her back. Unfortunately, he was alleged to have been given a big blow by the MP, which sent him tumbling to the ground. This, he alleged, was followed by an attack, visited on the young man, by the thugs who accompanied the MP to the meeting ground.

He further alleged that when he received the first blow from the MP, who tried to administer another blow, he feared for his very life, so he took to his heels, sporting swollen jaw and blood on his face.

Meanwhile, about an hour after the incident, this reporter dashed down to the meeting grounds, but no one was there, but Mr. Anderson, who had returned from lodging a report at the police station, confirmed the incident.

He said Mr. Baidoo Ansah, noted for his violent streak, ordered his thugs to “Get that stupid boy for me,” when he took to his heels. That, he alleged, was the moment that scared him most, as he felt the men pursuing him.

Mr. Isaac Ofei, 41, a member of the party who tried to separate the MP from engaging the party members, and was alleged to have suffered beatings, confirmed the story, and narrated his own ordeal at the hands of the Youth Organiser.

He said that the incident took almost every party member by surprise, and narrated how three of the alleged thugs, who were brought to the meeting ground by the MP, were alleged to have assaulted him, even when he was on the ground.

He showed this reporter his jaws which received the blows, and how they were swollen.

Mr. Ofei alleged that he struggled for some time in the hands of the thugs.

According to him, when he managed to get up, he realised the whole meeting ground had been taken over by the MP and his thugs.

His mobile phone, GH¢500, and wristwatch all got missing. Other members of the party, who were present at the meeting, confirmed the incident to The Chronicle at about 9:00 p.m., after the incident, and expressed worry over the conduct of the MP.

The two victims of this brutality told The Chronicle, in separate interviews, that they had all reported the matter at the Kwesimintsim Police Station for investigation.

The two also told The Chronicle that they took medical forms from the police, and went to the Kwesimintsim Polyclinic for treatment, after which they were discharged.

Yesterday, six of the victims of went in a chartered taxi and lodged complaints at the police station.

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