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15.07.2005 NPP News

NPP Grabs MP’s Son

Daily Guide

THE NEW Patriotic Party (NPP) is most likely going to field Mr. Lennox Sidney Asafoiatse Kojo Mankattah, 36, as the party's candidate for the forthcoming by-election in the Odododiodioo Constituency which is scheduled to be held on August 30, 2005.

The choice of Mr. Lennox Sidney Asafoiatse Kojo Mankattah, eldest son of the late Member of Parliament for the constituency, and a staff of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), was revealed by a top-notch of the party. “We have 'caught' the son of the late MP, as our candidate for the by-election”, he told Daily Guide, yesterday.

The late Hon Samuel Ayikwei Mankattah, was deeply rooted in the UP tradition for most part of his political life, but only decamped to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after a misunderstanding over the choice of a parliamentary candidate, during the NPP's primary election, toward the 2000 general elections.

The late MP was a follower and believer of renowned UP stalwarts in Ga Mashie, which encompasses Bukom, James Town, Swalaba and Akoto Lantey like the late Obetsebi-Lamptey, Blankson Lartey, the late J.W. Amarteifio, also known as Mr. No, Joshua Attoh Quarshie, Lawyer Francis Kojo Smith, the late Ayi Jaffa Awule, aka Officer, through whom he was politically baptised into the UP tradition.

Daily Guide has found out that the young man also believes in the UP tradition, like his father, before the disagreement of 2000 saw him join NDC. Meanwhile, Daily Guide has discovered that the autopsy report, No. 2876/05, on the late Hon Samuel Ayikwei Mankattah, was released by Dr. Solomon Quayson of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, to the family of the deceased, on July 9.

According to the report, the late MP died of cerebral hemorrhage, which in medical terms, is referred to as sub-arachnoids. In the layman's term, he died through a bleeding of a part of the brain, after suffering from systemic hypertension.

The NPP move has robbed NDC of a chance to pick the eldest son of the late MP, which it envisaged, would boost its chances of retaining the seat. From records, no party has ever held the seat for more than four years, and so, the up-coming political battle would present an interesting scene on the political terrain.

The NDC quest for the late MP's son to represent it in the August 30, by-election, came to a climax when former President Rawling's intervention was sought by the party's constituency executives.

The former president had earlier, in the company of Hon E.T. Mensah, gone to the bereaved family's house to offer his condolences to the family.

Both NDC and NPP see the young man as a potential winner in the forthcoming by-election, and were working behind the scenes to draw him to their side, before the NPP break-through.

Before this decision, the names of the former NPP MP for the constituency, Reginald Niibi Ayibonte, and the deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Nii Okai Hammond, were on the lips of some NPP supporters in the constituency, but the executives thought the two generated copious controversy during the last primary election and so, the best thing to do, was to go for a new face from the constituency.

NDC was banking on the late MP's son, so that it could attract sympathy votes, and re-enact the Asawase scenario.

With NPP taking the wind off the sail of NDC, the party would, in the view of political pundits, consider one of the following personalities- Mr. Waleed Nii Laryea, Hon Jonathan Tackie-Kommey an assembly member, Mr. Jeff Laryea, and Mr. P. Owoo, who lost primary to the late MP.

Meanwhile, the party's acting General Secretary, Bede Ziedeng, has announced that NDC has opened its doors for interested persons to file their nomination for the by-elections.

The NDC constituency office is still under lock and key, as the late MP is still being mourned.

Hon Mankattah, before his death visited his personal doctor at the Ussher Community Clinic, after complaining of ill-health from where he was rushed to the 37th Military Hospital, when his condition was worsening.

One of his 14 sons, Mr. Perry Nii Ayi Kushie Mankattah, who confirmed this, said a doctors' report at the medical facility, revealed that the level of sugar in his blood was very high, a suggestion that he was diabetic.

According to him, on Monday, June 20, his father complained of bodily pains, and fever, following which he consulted his personal doctor at the Ussher Clinic, where he was treated and discharged.

Three days later, he suffered a relapse, and complained of dizziness, a situation which led to the doctors to advise that he should be transferred from the clinic to a hospital.

From the 37th Military Hospital, where he was taken initially the late MP was moved to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where he died at the Cardio-Thoracic Centre.

His death was marked by finger pointing, with some of his supporters claiming he was killed spiritually by someone who wants to recapture the seat. His supporters, who went on a street carnival, called Jaama in Ga, to mourn the departed MP, hurled insults at Niibi Ayibonte, the former MP.

Niibi Ayibonte was accused by the mourners of spiritually killing Hon Mankattah who is fondly named Tsofoiatse, or jujuman.

The people started their march as early as 9am and headed toward Chorkor, from Bukom, causing much inconvenience to motorists. They carried placards, one of which read, “Mankattah Kill Whoever Killed You”.

When Mr Reginal Niibi Ayibonte was contacted, he confirmed the story, adding that, he heard the mention of his name in the songs which the mourners sang in the street carnival.

According to him, the carnival started from the day on which the MP died, adding, the day, being a Tuesday, was a holiday for the fisherfolk, and so many of them joined in the street function.

He stated that, even though the late MP's supporters accused him of been responsible for the man's death, they cannot explain how it happened. As an “Asafoiatse” which means a war-leader, in Ga, a lot of street carnivals are bound to be held, Niibi said.

According to him, the relationship between him and the late MP was very cordial, adding that, they were related. Explaining, he contended his mother and the late MP's mother, hail from the same compound.

The former MP said on Sunday, July 10, 2005, he went to the late MP's house to express his condolences to the bereaved family.