NPP’s 2016 hope on the rocks
Source: The Republic - Some prominent members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have issued red-alerts about serious unrest, massive acts of indiscipline and disunity hidden from the public eye, likely to cause the party’s defeat in the 2016 general elections.
This alert comes despite the seeming calm appearing to have returned to the NPP and the confident talk by party executives about having set in motion adequate plans to win the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
A petition capturing all these warning signals was delivered to the Chairman of the NPP’s Disciplinary Committee -Most Reverend S. Asante Antwi- as recently as July 31, 2015. The petition intercepted by the Republic Newspaper, was written by Nana Fredua Agyeman Ofori-Atta, a prominent member of the party and a cousin to the flagbearer of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to the petition, which this paper gathered is being taken seriously by the hierarchy of the NPP, the confusion in the party “put the party and its candidates for the pending 2016 elections in a precarious situation and has rendered the party to an almost irredeemable ridicule…”
“Our membership is, as a result apprehensive about our otherwise very bright prospects of victory in the next elections, due to pressures from the concerned electorates,” Nana Fredua Agyeman warned.
At the heart of the petition are allegations that the National Chairman of the NPP, Paul Afoko has been involved in several acts of misconduct that constitutes complete disregard for “the interest and concerns of the Party and its constitution and its conventions such that the party has been negatively affected.”
It is believed that several party members have been angered by the actions of Mr. Afoko and have decided to stay aloof of party matters until he and Kwabena Agyapong are removed from office through impeachment.
The petition is expected to be soon heard by the party’s leadership and a decision taken on whether or not to impeach the two.
Meanwhile, the action of Akufo-Addo to recently reconcile with the two, as he attends events with them and appear to have warmed up to them has further infuriated some of his loyalists who insist that the two top executives of the party cannot be trusted.
According to Nana Fredua Agyeman, the continuous stay in office of Paul Afoko has escalated the confusion frantically being hidden from the public by the party.
This paper gathered from party sources that the recent Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia-led media razzmatazz over the NPP’s quest for a new voters register is one of many moves to divert public attention from the lost hopes in the NPP about their chances in the 2016 elections.
Since last year, violent confrontations among loyalists of entrenched opposing camps within the party garnered negative media spotlight for the party. Party members believed to be loyal to the flagbearer of the party, Akufo-Addo, openly faced-off with the other side of the divide believed to be closely associated with former President John Agyekum Kufuor and Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng- Akufo-Addo’s biggest rival in the flagbearership race.
Akufo-Addo’s loyalists have alleged that Paul Afoko and the party’s General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyapong were aligned to the Kufuor/Alan camps and were actively working to scuttle the 2016 presidential ambitions of Akufo-Addo.
These accusations and counter-accusations virtually turned the party headquarters into a battle zone between these two sides in most part of late 2014 and early 2015.
Desperate pleas from elders of the party restored a seeming calm, but the situation has since gotten out of hand in a much more underground turf war since the second quarter of this year, says Nana Fredua Agyeman. According to him, the current situation was escalated on May 4, 2015 when Freddie Blay, the First National Vice Chairman of the party organized a steering committee meeting at a time when both Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong were out of town.
Even though Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong were said to have been informed about the meeting, yet they reportedly ascribed illegality to the meeting and proceeded to launch a scathing media attack on the other party leadership for sidelining them in the meeting.
In the petition to the disciplinary committee chairman, the petition from Nana Fredua explained that “The reason for the attention and interest by the media was that the- Chairman and General Secretary- claimed, publicly, not to have been informed about it [the May Steering Committee meeting]. The Chairman fuelled the negative reportage with his contribution to the media. He, instead of quelling the negative reports of his absence…went ahead to emphasize negatives putting the party in a position of ridicule and disrepute.”
Further to the brouhaha over the controversial steering committee meeting was a secret meeting held in the Upper East Region by Mr. Afoko and Mr. Agyapong. In this meeting, the two are alleged to have met with opponents of the NPP flagbearer and plotted to ensure his defeat in 2016. The meeting in Bolgatanga sidelined the regional chairman of the NPP in that region, Adams Mahama, a staunch loyalist of Akufo-Addo.
Getting hint of the meeting, Adams Mahama is reported to have organized thugs to attack Kwabena Agyapong and Paul Afoko. The two escaped and are alleged to have inspired a reprisal attack on Adams Mahama, leading to his death through acid dousing allegedly by Gregory Afoko, Paul Afoko’s junior brother.
For him, the actions by Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong triggered the current apathy. “The fact that the murder has been linked to the meeting [in Bolgatanga], its consequent fracas and the accused persons’ relationship with Mr. Paul Afoko is damaging to the New Patriotic Party. The NPP has become the butt of political ridicule from the murderous act based particularly on the link to the Party member who is National Chairman Mr. Afoko,” Nana Fredua wrote in the petition.
“By this and other such acts that have characterised his term so far, he cannot be trusted in this position with the destiny and fortunes of our party, that of our leader and flagbearer, our parliamentary candidates, officers and teaming members and sympathisers, given the offences he has committed. Such behaviours leaves us in a precarious situation regarding his role for us,” he concluded.
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