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30.07.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: This MP Needs Help!

By Chronicle

Last Wednesday, July 27 2005, saw some nasty incidents in the vicinity of the President's residence, perpetrated by some of the security personnel deployed there.

Some journalists, who had gone to cover a solidarity photo taking exercise by Kwesi Pratt Jnr., were, without provocation, assaulted and some of their gadgets vandalized by some security personnel Coming in the wake of the unfortunate fate that befell the TV Africa crew last Friday, an incident, that compelled the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to render a public apology, one finds it very strange.

However, the signals for confrontations were clear, particularly, following threats issued by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin-North, Mr. Kennedy O. Agyepong, to Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr., last Saturday, on the same radio programme that the latter had stated his intention of going to take a photograph of the hotel building.

The MP had stated that the intended mission of photo-taking amounted to a threat and dared Pratt Jnr. to venture for the exercise. The exchanges in the studios, even prior to a musical interlude, had clearly indicated that the matter had gone overboard.

But more disturbing was the level of acrimony that characterized the exchanges while they were off air, which was subsequently played back on air.

It was difficult to understand why the stating of a mission, that looked more like an adventure, said to be for solidarity purposes, would provoke an MP to the extent that it did.

It is important to state that no matter how one felt about the stated intention of Pratt Jnr., if it indeed breached any law, then the civilized way to confront it was just to have lodged a complaint with the police, so they took the necessary action to avert it.

However, following the apology of the IGP himself in the earlier referred to incident, describing it as regrettable, it was inconceivable that an MP would advocate for the physical restraint of a solidarity move.

Sometime in 2001, Mr. Agyepong was reported to have threatened to slap a uniformed policeman, lawfully performing his duties at the airport.

Sometime last year, he was reported to have kicked a fellow MP, of a rival political party, in the studios of a radio station, in the heat of a debate!

In just about a week ago, the MP had been on air, justifying why some time ago, he had had to physically assault a political opponent, as a retaliatory gesture!

Our MP may have his problems with the law enforcement agencies: however, as a lawmaker and a representative of the people, it is incumbent on him to be among the first to respect and protect the law.

The office of Member of Parliament goes with a lot of privileges, as such a higher standard of behaviour is expected of members. Members therefore need to exercise moderation and circumspection in their public conduct.

Mr. Agyepong seems to be a man with great passion about the things he believes in.

Again, he exudes a lot of energy that, properly channeled, would be very profitable for the nation.

His forthrightness is worthy of emulation. However, translating that into verbal assault and at times fisticuffs, suggests to The Chronicle that this MP certainly needs help, and some counseling will do!