Had it not been for the timely intervention by colleagues Members of Parliament, the MP for Ablekumah West, Ursula Owusu, and the MP for Nantong, Ibrahim Murtalla Mohammed, could have engaged in fisticuffs in the foyer of Parliament House.
The two traded what each of them perceived to be invective on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana and they subsequently decided to face off in Parliament in a verbal free for all to settle the score that began on the screen.
According to Murtalla Mohammed, NPP MP Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, who appeared as the Nantong MP’s co-panelist on the TV show on Monday, made a statement that sought to “impugn the integrity of the people of the north” concerning some youth who demonstrated over the delayed appointment of Haruna Iddrisu, hence portraying them as uncivilized.
Mr Murtalla Mohammed later told Joy News that he referred Dr Akoto Osei to similar statements made by other members of the NPP, including Ursula Owusu, who was alleged to have said that but for free education, elite Northerners would have been rearing cattle.
He said that Ursula Owusu, who might have felt offended by his comments, went “gaga and ballistic” when the two appeared on the same programme Tuesday and she verbally attacked him.
Mr. Murtalla Mohammed explained that after the confrontation, he approached Mrs. Owusu in the parliament building and pointed out that he considered her comments on TV unfortunate.
Ursula, according to him, explained that she reacted the she did because she had received threats, especially from northerners, in response to the “irresponsible” statement that he had the day before accused her of making.
Mr. Murtalla Mohammed was also offended by Ursula’s response and retorted, “I said hold it on, I thought you were a lady, I expected her to be a bit civil as a matter of fact. And I thought I was having a conversation with a lady, unfortunately it wasn’t as a matter of fact.”
He said he had to warn Ursula Owusu not to talk to him in such a manner again.
“I thought we were having a civil conversation”, he reported telling her, adding that he had also instructed her to behave like an “honourable person.”
He further made it clear to her that “if others take it, I, Ibrahim Murtalla Mohammed, wouldn’t take it, and if she brings it one, I will give her 20 times. I didn’t use abusive words on her.
“I only told her that I thought she would be a bit civil, I thought she should have known that she is not just Ursula Owusu on radio but she is a Member of Parliament.”
According to him, he talked to Ursula the same way he would have talked to his wife or any other lady, and was “surprised” by how she received his purportedly friendly fire.