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30-Nov-2011  
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Peter Alex Mensah, aka Agya Manso, a well-known physically challenged who used a festoon New Patriotic Party (NPP) flags and other paraphernalia on his wheel chair, begging for alms on some principal streets of Accra is dead.

He was reported to have died at his hometown in the Western Region on Thursday November 24 after a short illness. According to Paul Kwaku Asaa, a family member who telephoned Daily Guide yesterday, Agya Manso was buried on Monday at Saa, his hometown. Motorists who drove through the Accra’s Museum Road, towards the TUC at the Holy Spirit Cathedral traffic intersection, were bound to see Agya Manso begging for alms as he sat in his wheelchair with a large NPP flag almost covering him.

 





Motorist and pedestrians alike fixed their gaze on the man when they spotted him as his party flag fluttered behind him on the wheelchair. While some engaged him in brief charts, others just look at him and sometimes parted with some coins and even notes.


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By William Yaw Owusu
Friday July 26, 2011.
IT WAS a bizarre spectacle on August 12 at the Holy Spirit Cathedral intersection when operatives of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) bundled a cripple into a waiting pick-up van and sped off to one of the assembly’s facilities in Accra.

Peter Alex Mensah, aka Agya Manso, is a well-known New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathizer. He is physically challenged and his wheelchair is always festooned with the party’s colours and other paraphernalia. He was accused of begging on the streets and campaigning out of political season.

Motorists who drive through the Accra’s Museum Road towards the TUC at the Holy Spirit Cathedral traffic intersection are bound to see Agya Manso begging for alms as he sits in his wheelchair with a large NPP flag almost covering him.

Motorists and pedestrians alike fix their gaze on the man when they spot him as his party flag flutters behind him on the wheelchair.

While some engage him in brief chats others just look at him and sometimes part with some coins and even notes.

He spoke exclusively to DAILY GUIDE on Wednesday at his usual spot where he begs for alms in the wheelchair and he was defiant but jocular.

“I am happy to speak to DAILY GUIDE. Let me extend my greetings to every NPP sympathizer particularly Nana Akufo-Addo, Sammy Awuku, Sir John and Aunty Maggie before I have my interview with you,” he started.

“I even thought of coming to your office to narrate my treatment at the hands of the AMA guards to you but upon second thought I decided not to come because people might not take me serious,” he continued.

Agya Manso said last Friday at about 2 pm; “AMA men wearing white and green with two pick-up trucks” stormed the traffic light where he was busily “looking for his daily bread.” They first arrested a lady cripple and seized her wheelchair before turning on him.

“I pleaded with them to leave her alone but they asked me to mount one of the vehicles which were parked at the Accra’s Museum Road bus stop towards the TUC.”

He claimed that when he told them that he could not walk, the AMA guards hoisted him into the back of the pick-up and took him to the AMA Park opposite Baiden Powell Memorial Hall.

“I was the only beggar picked up. They did not tell me why they were taking me away. When we got there, I was asked to wait for their boss and for about 30 minutes I was unattended to.”

He continued: “then their boss came and told me in Ga which was later interpreted to me by a guard that they do not want anybody to beg at the Central Business District particularly High Street.”

He said the boss ordered him to relay the message to other beggars but he told them he could not do that since he was not their leader.

Agya Manso further said the AMA guards also told him that he was being arrested because he was promoting the NPP out of the political season, adding “I did not have to hide the fact that I am an avowed NPP supporter as my flag was boldly hoisted when they arrested me.”

“I have been NPP all my life and will continue to work hard for them to come back to power. I told them it is not a crime to associate yourself with a political party of your choice so long as the party is not outlawed.”

“As for the political off season, it is untenable because I see cars with NDC flags everyday and nobody is doing anything to them so the AMA should come again.”

“If it is because of the NPP flag they arrested me then I assure them that I am going to even add four more the next time they see me.”

“When President Kufuor was there, nobody arrested beggars. We operated without any harassment. Our conditions make it difficult for us to do physical work. We live on the benevolence of Good Samaritans but the AMA guards are making things difficult this time around.”

When asked why he could not do simple petty trading for a living, Agya Manso said “I tried my best but it was very dangerous. The cars move fast in the traffic when the green light is on…You could easily get knocked down.”

When probed further over whether it was rather safe to roll his wheel chair through the traffic he replied “but I am not selling. It is only dangerous when you are chasing after your change. As for begging, the moment the green light is on you stay calm. That is what I do for a living.”

Asked how he came by the name Agya Manso (Father of litigation), he said “I hate to be cheated. I have decided never to tell a lie. That is why I am able to speak my mind freely without fear so as a result of that people think I am a litigant.”

Agya Manso is one of the new breed of Ghanaians who are prepared to use the mass media particularly radio to educate themselves. He has a ghetto blaster fixed to his wheelchair to listen to the news daily.

“You see I have my radio fixed here on my wheelchair…I listen to the news every hour to know what is going on in the country and how well the NPP is doing. With this, I do not need anybody to tell me the state of affairs in the country.”

“I pray to God that the NPP come back to power and when that happens I have strong belief that Nana Akufo-Addo can put things together for the disabled to also benefit. The NPP needs to work hard to win 2012.”

“This is the first time I have been arrested for operating as a beggar. I know that when NPP comes to power I will have my peace of mind. I know they will find something for me to do in my hometown and I may not necessarily become a beggar.”

When asked what he got from the NPP when the party was in office, Agya Manso said most of the party’s sympathizers were “very generous” and “besides, I had my peace to move to wherever I wanted.”

Agya Manso hails from Saa near Asankragua in the Western Region. He has three children. He currently lives at the slums popularly called Abuja behind the Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) headquarters near the Kantamanto Railway Station in Accra.
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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