The account by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia that some masked armed men attacked and harassed him last Monday near Suhum on the Kumasi-Accra highway has been discredited by an eyewitness.
According to the eyewitness, Mr Joe Forson, he was the motorist Mr Asiedu Nketia described in his account as the one the men attempted to beat up, when they stopped his [Forson] vehicle, which was moving ahead of that of Mr Asiedu Nketia last Monday.
In Mr Asiedu Nketia’s account of the incident last Monday in a radio interview on Asempa FM s ‘Ekosii Sen’ programme, he said the AK 47 armed masked men were in a Toyota Tundra with registration number GT 666-12
He said the men banged on his [Asiedu Nketia] vehicle, bypassed him and stopped the vehicle ahead of him and attempted to beat up the driver.
Mr Asiedu Nketia subsequently concluded that the banging on his car and the entire incident was an attack on his person and subsequently telephoned the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah to inform him about it.
After that, he resorted to the radio station to narrate what had happened.
However, recounting his version of what happened on Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosii Sen’ programme on Tuesday, Mr Forson, a businessman said it was not true that Mr Asiedu Nketia was attacked.
He said it was him [Forson] rather, whom the men stopped.
He explained a convoy of vehicles came to bypass him on that day and when he thought all the vehicles had left, he followed them but along the line, the Toyota Tundra with the armed men came from behind and stopped him.
To him, whilst they were engaged in exchanges, challenging them that they were not supposed to be driving in a convoy and that he was going to report them, Mr Asiedu Nketia’s vehicle arrived, stopped and he [Asiedu Nketia] came out of his vehicle, barefooted.
Around that moment, the men in the Tundra vehicle sped off.
He said it was he [Joe Forson] who explained to Mr Asiedu Nketia what had happened and found it surprising that Mr Asiedu Nketia reported the incident on a radio station as being attacked by the men.
He challenged Mr Asiedu Nketia to engage him publicly in a radio conversation about the incident.
“I had a friend army officer who was with me in the car so he got down first and identified himself and asked them what was their problem…I am not sure whether they are armed robbers because nobody made any attempt to rob me,” he said.
“I am shocked at Asiedu Nketia’s claims…it is never true. Nobody was tortured. It is not good for an old man like him to be lying.”
He said it was true that Mr Asiedu Nketia came out of his vehicle with a friend to witness the incident but insisted Mr Asiedu Nketia’s account as being attacked was not true.
He said Mr Asiedu Nketia’s account which has been repeated by him on some other radio stations was not accurate.
According to Joe Forson, Asiedu Nketia did not witness the incident but was rather briefed.
“I was rather stopped and he came to meet us at the stop but he was not attacked…it’s not true because he was not there and was only briefed so I am shocked at his account…,” he added.
He added that Mr Asiedu Nketia after moving from one radio station to the other repeating the story, called him on Tuesday morning to find out more details about what actually happened.
“He [Asiedu Nketia] called me this morning to listen to the true version so he can change his old untrue account on radio…,” Joe Forson claimed.
‘Gun attack’ left me traumatized – Asiedu Nketia
Meanwhile, Mr Asiedu Nketia is insisting on his account of the incident and has said that the encounter with the armed men has left him “traumatized.”
In a radio interview with Accra based Joy FM on Wednesday evening, two days after the incident, Mr Asiedu Nketia he has not been able to report for work after the incident.
“I have been traumatized” but the “matter has been reported to the police,” he said.
The National Communications Officer of the NDC, Mr Solomon Nkansah in a statement on Wednesday evening blamed the attack on government.
Mr Nkansah said government’s attitude towards activities of militant groups is fueling the spate of attacks in the country.
Asked by Joy FM why the NDC is roping in government in the matter, Mr Asiedu Nketia said he cannot be held responsible for the statement for the party since he has not been able to report to work since then.
He said the statement was supposed to be a solidarity message, which did not need his permission.
He said his party functionaries are at liberty to interpret the situation the way they see fit because they have seen some pictures from the encounter.
Mr Asiedu Nketia also said he has provided the police with the necessary evidence to enable them conduct their investigation into the matter.
“It will be extremely miraculous for anyone to say that they don’t have information on the matter,” he said.