General News of Thursday, 28 February 2013
He appeared in dark glasses and sounded very energetic, as if all was well with him. However, deep down his spine, and to his bone marrow, he was fighting for survival.
Young Peter Mensah, a 27-year-old communicator for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Techiman North Constituency, is gradually going blind, and needs immediate medical attention to save him.
“As I talk to you now, one of my eyes is gone and is eating into the other one. This is the news of a peace programme I attended,” a deeply emotional Peter Manu, a student of the Valley View University, told journalists at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
With facial bruises, and seated on the right-hand side of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Chairman of the NPP, Peter gave an account of his horrendous encounter with his political opponents after attending a peace programme organised by the Ebenezer Methodist Church Youth, dubbed ‘Ensuring peaceful elections: the role of the Parliamentary Candidate’ , on October 21, 2012.
According to Master Mensah, he stood in for the NPP parliamentary candidate for Techiman North, Prof. Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, whose busy schedule that fateful day had prevented him from honouring the invitation in person.
He said, on his way home after delivering a speech on behalf of Prof. Akumfi, he met some communicators of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who cautioned him to be wary of his ways, because some of their guys had plotted evil against him.
“We had a chat, and one of them told me ‘Peter, be careful because some of our guys have diabolically planned against you.’ I thought it was going to be a physical attack, probably after a radio station debate, so I drove off, and on my way, I spotted a motorbike in my driving mirror.
“I thought it was one of those innocent motorbike riders, so I decided to slow down so they can overtake me. In an attempt to overtake me, they splashed acid on my face,” Master Mensah recollected.
With the victim’s deteriorating condition, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey said it was imperative he receives medical attention abroad, after receiving initial treatment at the Plastic Surgery Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
According to the NPP Chairman, Master Mensah “needs 30 million Euros to save his ailing eyes at a medical facility in Germany,” and therefore, appealed to the general public to “come to his aid,” and donations could be made into a welfare fund dubbed ‘NPP Peter Mensah Welfare Fund’, which has been launched for the victim.
“The party (NPP) has been treating him since the accident, but it has come to a stage where he has to be sent abroad for medical treatment, and we are now faced with financial difficulties. He is 27 years old, and if we don’t do something about it, he is going to lose the other eye. This is beyond the NPP, and that is why we need the support of the general public,” Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey noted.
Any financial contribution, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey noted, could be paid at the NPP’s party offices across the country, including its national headquarters in Accra.
He described the action of the acid throwers as “barbaric”, and argued that a free press was one of the pillars of a functioning democracy.
“Without a free press that is able to express its own opinions, we won’t have a functioning democracy. If persons are unable to express their opinions freely, then I don’t see how we are going to have a proper functioning democracy,” bemoaned Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey.
Prof. Ameyaw Akumfi, who could not fathom why such a barbaric act could be inflicted on his boy, said till date, nobody had been apprehended, even though the incident was immediately reported to the police