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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I’m sorry”, Ashanti Regional Minister declares after setting tone for violence

Ashanti Regional Minister, Kofi Opoku Maanu has apologised for making the dangerous statements
Ashanti Regional Minister, Kofi Opoku Maanu has apologised for making the dangerous statements

The Ashanti Regional Minister, who urged supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to slap their political opponents who taunt them, has apologized for the statement.

At a recent NDC function in Kumasi, Kofi Opoku Manu tasked supporters of the ruling party to descend heavily on persons on the other side of political divide who criticize the NDC.

But 24 hours after an interview with the Super Morning Show during which he would not categorically deny having made any such statement, Mr Manu – also the Chairman of the Regional Security Council – ate humble pie, saying he had indeed hit below the belt.

“I’ll be the last person to advocate for warfare of any type and having listened to this myself, I must say I really feel sorry,” he said.

He explained that the statement was rather uncharacteristic of him and that friends of his who listened to the recording have been awe-struck.

The one-time Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director added that he found himself in a “charged environment” during a party forum, as a result of which he felt compelled to make the statement.

As the man presiding over the Regional Security Council, Mr. Manu says the Ashanti Region has enjoyed “considerable peace” in recent months as a result of his good attitude to work, resulting in a reduction in the incidence of armed robbery and other crimes in the region.

These, Mr Opoku said, are a testimony to his unflinching commitment to ensure that people in the region live in harmony and peacefully coexist.

The regional minister’s controversial comment has ruffled a few feathers with calls on the president to dismiss him.

But in response to suggestions of dismissal, however, Mr Opoku said his track record since taking office shows he is a lover of peace who does not “advocate for violence.”

He insists that the nation must take his apology as a “sincere” expression of regret.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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