Former Flagbearer Aspirant of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Arthur Kennedy, says Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Murtala Muhammed, deserves to be punched in the face for suggesting Dr J.B. Danquah died naturally.
‘When NDC legislator Murtala Mohammed stated that Danquah died of natural causes, one of the NPP MP’s should have punched him on the nose’, Dr Kennedy wrote in an article.
On the other hand, he said former Majority and Minority Leader Alban Bagbin deserved a ‘hug’ for displaying ‘maturity’ and ‘commonsense’ in his comments regarding the death of the U.G.C.C. founder-member.
Contributing to a statement read on the floor of Parliament by Abuakwa South MP Samuel Atta-Akyea last week Wednesday, to commemorate the 49th death anniversary of the former UP Presidential Candidate who passed away at age 69 while in detention at the Nsawam medium security prison, the Nanton Legislator said: ‘…Even under Busia, a Committee that was set up to look at the circumstances under which he lost his life proved clearly that he didn’t die as a result of he being in prison. It was a natural death and the history is there clearly for us all to see’.
Nadowli-Kaleo MP Alban Bagbin, on the other hand bemoaned that Dr Danquah was a victim of political intolerance and therefore used the occasion to urge political tolerance in Ghana.
In his article, copied to Radio XYZ, Dr Kennedy argued that: ‘Let no one try to mitigate our shame by pretending that Danquah died of natural causes’.
According to him, Dr Danquah’s death ‘will stain Nkrumah’s life and our collective conscience, forever’, and added that: ‘Anyone who thinks imprisonment had nothing to do with Danquah’s death should talk to Tsatsu Tsikata about the effect imprisonment can have on one’s health. Mandela would not have lasted 27 months in that prison—let alone 27 years’.
In his view, ‘the 69-year-old [politician] died from the harsh conditions that exacerbated his health, in prison. After his second detention on 8th January, 1964, he was subjected to harsh treatment, including chaining and being deprived of a bed for some time’.
Dr Danquah who died on February 4, 1965 was imprisoned twice under the Preventive Detention Act/Order of 1958 and 1961 for alleged subversive activities against the Nkrumah Government.
The Preventive Detention Act/Order was law passed by Parliament at the time and permitted the detention of subversive elements without trial for up to five years. It was later extended to 10 years.
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