11.10.2005 Politics

JJ’S Boys Bay For Blood

By Daily Guide
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THE MEMBER of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman, Alfred Kwame Agbesi, has expressed shock and horror at a publication in yesterday's edition of the National Democrat, a newspaper from the stable of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), alleging that, there was an attempt to lynch the party's national chairman, Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah, in Ashaiman.

Describing the publication as shocking, Hon Agbesi denied the National Democrat publication.

“I was shocked, because it did not reflect what happened”, he told Daily Guide yesterday. According to the National Democrat, Dr. Asamoah who was in Ashaiman to inaugurate a branch executive in the Ashaiman Constituency, was nearly lynched by irate party activists, for allegedly passing unfavourable comments on the party founder, Jerry John Rawlings, and NDC defeated flagbearer, Prof John Evans Atta Mills. The newspaper reports: “The National Chairman of NDC, Dr. Yao Obed Asamoah, escaped lynching by the skin of the teeth, a few days ago, at a swearing-in ceremony in Ashaiman, near Tema, when rampaging NDC activists of the Ashaiman Constituency, angered by his vile remarks against Flt Lt Rawlings, and Prof Mills, attacked him.” But Hon Agbesi said, the newspaper report was far from the truth. “It was not true. There was nothing like near-lynched. I don't know what position that paper is taking. As far as I am concerned, there was nothing like that”, he fumed.

The Ashaiman MP noted that, the publication could not be anything, but an outright fabrication and blatant lie.

“I'm going to write a rejoinder to the paper”, he charged. Unfortunately, Hon Agbesi may be embarking on a fruitless exercise as the National Democrat operates an invisible office, which nobody has succeeded in getting access to except the pseudo-names working on it, including its editor at large, Emmanuel Victor Smith, special assistant to former President Jerry John Rawlings. Hon Agbesi also denied that, the event which the party chairman was said to have escaped, took place a few days ago.

According to him, the function was held in the second week of September, and therefore, could not have passed as a few days event.

The Ashaiman MP stated that, the constituency extended invitation to the party's national chairman to give the members, fatherly advice ahead of the constituency congress, scheduled for the latter part of the year.

The said meeting was attended by Dr. Asamoah, accompanied by Hon Lee Ocran, MP for Jomoro, a national vice chairman, Ofosu Ampofo, national organizer, and Sly Akakpovie, Ashanti Regional secretary, among others. Hon Agbesi said, the event went on smoothly without the slightest act of commotion. This, he said, can be verified from the two journalists, who were invited for the function. He named them as Ian Mortey of Ghanaian Times, and another from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) correspondent in Tema. Please read the National Democrat report described as a fabrication by the MP for Ashiaman. Obed Escapes Lynching THE NATIONAL Chairman of the NDC, Dr Yao Obed Asamoah, escaped lynching by the skin of the teeth a few days ago at a swearing in ceremony in Ashaiman near Tema when rampaging NDC activists of the Ashaiman constituency, angered by his vile remarks against FIt Lt Rawlings and Prof. Mills, attacked him.

Obed was in the middle of his speech at the ceremony organised to swear in new branch executives in the constituency.

This reporter, arrived at the Reno Hotel, where the ceremony was going to take place a few minutes before Obed arrived in the company of some of his gang members in the NEC of the NDC comprising the National Vice-Chairman, Lee Ocran, the timid Bede Ziedeng, acting General¬ Secretary and Ofosu Ampofo, National Organiser. These gentlemen poured volumes of insults on the founder of the party, as well as the flagbearer in the 2000, and 2004 elections.

Lee Ocran, a man who was nurtured by former President Rawlings, set the ball rolling. He said he wondered why people should insult Obed Asamoah, a man who lectured Prof Mills at the Law School.

He described those who defend Rawlings in the party as a bunch of unemployed people, whose only job is to jump from radio station to radio station, casting insinuation at Obed Asamoah. Yet, when they want money for party activities, the same people pass the back door to beg Dr Obed Asamoah for funds.

NDC activists present began to murmur their disapproval of Lee Ocran's speech. Matters came to a head when Dr Asamoah, in his speech described Prof. Mills as a candidate with empty pockets.

“We needed a presidential candidate, who has connections to source for money. Instead, they imposed a candidate with an empty pocket on us, he said. The chairman described former President Rawlings as a negative factor, who caused the defeat of the party in 2004.

He said the former President lacks all democratic values and should leave the party to enable it to strategise for the 2008 elections.

Mid-way through his speech, the crowd began to heckle him, demanding to know exactly what his agenda was. The NDC MP for the constituency, Alfred Agbesi, sensing danger brought proceedings to an abrupt end and cancelled the question and answer session, which was the next on the agenda.

The activists, at this stage, surged forward and surrounded the high table, where Obed and his gang were seated. They openly insulted and castigated Dr Obed Asamoah and his gang.

¬One activist who identified himself as Sanni from Maamo branch dared Obed in the face never to step at any NDC function in Ashaiman, while others chanted, “No way for Obed! Obed you want to destroy NDC! Obed, we would deal with you if you come here again to insult JJ!”

As the situation became tense amidst the banging of tables and tossing of chairs by the activists, the chairman and his gang, terrified, took refuge in one of the hotel rooms, while Hon Alfred Agbesi, who has a great influence in the constituency, pleaded with the activists to exercise restraint. .

It took almost an hour for tempers to cool down but with a pledge by the Ashaiman NDC supporters that neither he nor any member of his gang would ever be allowed in the constituency to insult JJ Rawlings.

They contended that Dr Obed Asamoah has no right to claim that Prof. MiIls has no money because what he, Obed, has is NDC money the party had entrusted into his care. They said Obed never visited the Ashaiman Constituency in the run-up to the 2004 elections. Rather, it was the Founder of the party who defied all odds and negative propaganda to visit Ashaiman.