…But Nana Akomea Issues Silence Order On NPP Communicators Nationwide To Avoid Him
Suspended National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Afoko, has revealed that Nana Akufo-Addo, snubbed efforts by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to intervene in his “illegal” suspension.
According to Mr. Afoko, the Asantehene, attempted to resolve the party’s issues relating to his suspension, but was ignored.
Mr. Afoko and two other national executives – the General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, and the first vice chairman, Sammy Crabbe – were accused of working against the party. They were subsequently suspended indefinitely, a situation which created a lot of frenzy and chaos within the party.
In an exclusive interview with Bola Ray, host of Starr Chat on Wednesday, Mr. Afoko, said Akufo-Addo, refused to listen to the respected Asantehene’s call to halt the suspension.
“There was an attempt…but unfortunately it didn’t work out…he [Otumfuo] did speak to [Nana Addo] but it didn’t work out”.
Asked whether he has a friendly relationship with the flagbearer of the party, Mr. Afoko said, the “feeling is a feeling of hostility”.
Mr. Afoko, added that there was enough evidence to indicate that Akufo-Addo dislikes him.
Interestingly, for the third time running, the NPP through its Director of Communication, Nana Akomea, soon after the interview, issued a gag order on all the party’s communicators not to respond to Mr. Afoko’s bombs. Similar gag orders, were served on the NPP communicators after Mr. Afoko’s press conference and interviews on TV3 Hot Issues
Nana Akomea’s gag order said, “Mr. Paul Afoko gave an interview to Starr fm and as usual touched on npp party issues, issues about his suspension etc. He still insisted he is NPP national chairman. Communicators SHOULD desist from any discussion on the merits or demerits of Mr. Afoko’s personal opinions”.
The order stated that the “Standard response: “The NPP has moved on. We are engaged in preparations to get our campaign 2016 off the ground. We have just inaugurated all our regional campaign teams. Mr. Afoko himself has taken his personal issues with the party to a competent court of law. We are surprised therefore that he takes the court issues from one media house to the other, potentially putting himself in danger of committing contempt of court on his own matter. Our lawyers are fully engaged in the court over this matter and we leave it to them. Meanwhile we are moving forward with our campaign plans. The NDC has issues in court such as in Klottey Korle Constituency. We don’t hear the parties running from station to station “raising the same issues. We will not follow Mr. Afoko on his frolic”.
The NPP Communication Director, warned that “Of course NDC communicators will try to take advantage and run down Nana Addo. Let’s counter that Nana Addo has nothing to do with Mr. Afoko’s matter, in much the same way President Mahama may have nothing to do with the Klottey Korle matter, the prevention of the contestant from the NDC party from contesting President Mahama, the suspensions of the parliamentary candidates for Ejisu, Ningo Prampram and La Dadekotopon etc.. Any attempts to run down Nana Addo must be vigorously countered with robust attack on President Mahama.
Mr. Afoko insisted “well the evidence is abundance, isn’t it…when you are in a party and you see that an unconstitutional act has taken place, an illegality has taken place and your presidential candidate immediately goes and pronounces and tries to legitimise that illegitimate thing that taken place, is that the behavior of somebody who likes me, No I don’t think so”.
The suspended NPP National Chairman, said he would turn down any offer to meet the party’s flagbearer over the rift between him and the opposition party.
According to him, developments in the party, since he won the chairmanship of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, has proven that, Nana Akufo-Addo ,does not like him and disclosed that he feels an atmosphere of hostility between him and the former Attorney General.
“There is a feeling of hostility towards me, he obviously doesn’t like me and that is how I feel,” he stated.
When asked by Bola Ray, if he would honour an invitation to resolve the tensions between them, Afoko answered “no” stating that he was “battle ready” to ensure that the Constitution of the party is upheld.
According to him, he is still the national chairman of the party, and will fight any group of persons, who are trying to illegitimise him, adding “I am the chairman of the New Patriotic Party.”
He added: “I went to Tamale to speak to the party…over 5000 delegates gathered and the verdict was that they wanted me to lead the party and in the process help whoever is the flagbearer to the Flagstaff House.
According to him, he will remain chairman of the party, until his tenure is over in 2018 or his verdict is overturned at a special delegate’s congress.
He revealed how the Acting Chairman, Freddie Blay, forcefully grabbed his hands refusing to let go during the One Week observation of the death of the Abuakwa North MP, J.B Dankwa. He openly declared he told Mr. Blay to leave his hand, but he was reluctant.
“I remain chairman until my tenure is over in 2018 or the same delegates go and overturn the verdict that they don’t want me…I am battle ready to ensure that our party’s constitution is upheld and no group of people can illegitimise the constitution.”
He also indicated that, he would no longer fund the party going forward. “Even the vehicles I bought for the party I am taking them back. I bought pickups for the campaign, but I’m no longer giving them out, I’m returning them.. I’m no longer going to fund the party”.
“I’m not buying any more cars. It was all part of a plan; you just don’t throw money at things… you plan”, adding that “the plan included tooling the party up and if that plan is thrown out of sync or out of gear then…. . Some of them have already been branded in party colours, I’m not saying I will debrand the vehicles; the jury is out and going forward we’ll see what will happen. I have halted the process of ordering for more.”
Mr. Afoko, has reinforced assertions that there are factions within the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, saying he belongs to the Kufuor faction, and not the Akufo-Addo faction.
The factionalism has led to internal wrangling within the NPP ahead of the 2016 elections.
But Afoko, explained that he belongs to ex-President John Kufuor’s faction his (Kufuor) principles, and described the former president, who ruled Ghana from 2000 to 2008, as a “diplomat” who believes in upholding the Constitution of the party.
“He is a diplomat. A quintessential diplomat,” Afoko stressed.
He added: “I can speak for Kufuor because he has not put himself into the fray and he is above it. Looking at the man and his record…. he falls squarely within the faction that believes in the democratic principles.”
Meanwhile, a former chief of staff, under the Kufuor administration, Kwadwo Mpiani, who spoke on the show has insisted that Mr. Afoko was still the Chairman, despite being on suspension.
According to Mpiani, he does not recognise the sanctions against Afoko, whom he described as “a fine gentleman.”
“He is still the chairman,” Mpiani insisted on Starr Chat on Starr 103.5 FM. “The party was wrong. Let’s go beyond Afoko…” he stressed to the host Bola Ray Wednesday.
Asked whether the NPP was ready to snatch power from the NDC, Mpiani said: “We are ready for power except that we have some problems to solve. It should be done as soon as possible.”
On his part, the Nhyiaeso Member of Parliament (MP) Dr. Richard Anane, said Mr. Afoko, should not have been ousted from his position.
“I do believe Afoko should not have been out of his position in the first place…so, far as I’m concerned, he should be working,” Dr. Anane told Bola Ray on Starr FM’s Starr Chat on Wednesday, during the same programme.
Dr Anane, however, disagrees with Mr Afoko’s indefinite suspension, saying it is important for the rules and regulations of the NPP to be abided by in all actions taken by the NPP.