Paul Afoko Accused Refusing To Have Peter McManu Outdoored
Exactly a week ago, Nana Akufo-Addo, sneaked into his Nima residence from London, with a confidential document, detailing members of his 2016 Campaign Team, atop the list of things he brought home to do, ahead of a nationwide tour, he will soon embark upon.
But insiders close to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, reveal to The Herald that, the list announcing the ex-NPP National Chairman, Peter McManu ,as head of the 2016 Campaign Team is gathering dust, because the embattled National Chairman, Paul Afoko, has refused to call for a National Executive Council (NEC) and the National Council, to first see the list.
The Herald was told that Nana Akufo-Addo, settled on the names, after painstaking consultation across the party.
However, in line with practice and as a sign of respect to the party leadership, he wants to first introduce the team to the NEC and the National Council, but unfortunately, Mr. Afoko, has flatly refused to call a NEC Meeting to allow Nana Akufo-Addo, officially inform the NEC and introduce his Campaign team.
But in a sharp response, Mr. Afoko said, “that the flagbearer has never discussed the formation and/or introduction of a campaign team with the National Chairman for him to refuse to call a NEC meeting for that purpose. So if there is a campaign team already in place and the national chairman, General Secretary and others are not aware, then where is the wide consultation being talked about, as suggested”.
A document on the matter from the Akufo-Addo camp had explained that; “the party’s constitution mandates only the chairman to call NEC or National Council meetings once he is present with an obligation on him to call at least one NEC meeting every three months. The last time NEC met, however, was in March, about 5 months ago, despite many calls by NEC members for him to respect the Constitution and call a meeting”.
“It is not our wish that our Party should always be in the news; however, is it not sad that because of the National Chairman’s unilateral decision and flouting of the constitution, the Campaign is yet to take off? Adding “let us ask if this is not a clear case of Paul Afoko sabotaging the commencement of the Campaign of Nana Addo, and the Party?
It said that “the National Chairman acts in ways like this and yet when other executives and leaders of the Party decide to right such wrongs, they are rather accused as fomenting division and chaos. How long should the Campaign wait, just because our Chairman, has decided to prevent it from kicking off.
The document charged “…all concerned about the NPP and our chances in 2016, let’s DEMAND explanations from, Paul Afoko. Time is not on our side”, adding “we must demand that he immediately, without further delay, call the NEC Meeting”.
In reaction to the claims, the NPP National Chairman, also issued a statement yesterday entitled, “the detractors are at it again!” It was signed by Nana Yaw Osei, Spokesperson for Mr. Afoko.
It said “the Office of the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has rather sadly come to the conclusion that Mr. Paul Afoko’s detractors and indeed enemies of the party’s march towards victory in 2016 will stop at nothing in their avowed aim of tarnishing his image and also thwarting the party’s effort at
achieving unity and peace”.
According to the statement, “just some few days after releasing a statement calling on persons to provide proof of whatever allegation(s) they might make against the National Chairman or forever hold their peace, his detractors instead of heeding to the call, have rather changed their tactics, all in their ignominous desire to continue to destroy him politically in the eyes of unsuspecting party members and the general public at large”.
“This time, the detractors and saboteurs of party’s chances to a possible 2016 victory have planted a 10-paragraphed story under the heading “NANA ADDO READY TO ANNOUNCE CAMPAIGN TEAM: PAUL AFOKO REFUSES TO CALL NEC MEETING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN” in the social media which has attracted lots of comments since yesterday (Wednesday, 5-8-2015)”.
Well, I respond as follows:-
1. That the flagbearer has never discussed the formation and/or introduction of a campaign team with the National Chairman for him to refuse to call a NEC meeting for that purpose. So if there is a campaign team already in place and the national chairman, General Secretary and others are not aware, then where is the wide consultation being talked about, as suggested in paragraph 1 of the story?
2. Again, as stated above, if the National Chairman and General Secretary of the party have not been notified of the formation of a campaign team and have not been asked for a meeting to introduce same, where lies the accusation that the “National Chairman, Paul Afoko, has flatly refused to call the NEC meeting to allow Nana Akufo-Addo to officially inform the NEC and introduce his campaign team.’’
3. Yes, it is true that the Party constitution mandates the national chairman to call Steering Committee, National Executive Committee, National Council meetings and even national conferences, but such meetings are not normally called out of vacuum. The National Chairman must have a reason(s) for calling any of the meetings listed. If Mr. Afoko is not aware of the formation of a campaign team and has not been notified of the need to call a meeting, why should he call a NEC meeting?
4. The information put out in paragraph 5 of the story has shown clearly that those behind same do not know and understand the workings of the various party structures. Before a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting can be called, a Steering Committee should have met and have something to report to the NEC! In fact, it is mandatory for the Steering Committee to report on its activities to the NEC. See pages 50 of the NPP Constitution.
5. Article 9(D)(4) of the NPP Constitution states, “The National Executive Committee shall meet at least once every three(3) months…” For the information of those who want to know the truth, in the first quarter (January-March) of this year(2015), two(2) NEC meetings were successfully held.
Let me state emphatically that there has never been any meeting that the flagbearer is not notified for his input into the agenda. So, in the second quarter(April-June) of this year, this is what happened. The National Chairman had, as usual, notified the flagbearer of his intention to call a NEC meeting but because the flagbearer was out of the country at the time he told Mr. Afoko to hold on for him(flagbearer) to return to Ghana since he wanted to be part of the said NEC meeting.
The National Chairman did not call the meeting at the instance of the flagbearer. This was in the month of May 2015.
Then, again, in the same month of May 2015, when the flagbearer had returned from his foreign trip, the National Chairman actually scheduled a NEC meeting and notices were sent out to members of NEC but that was when the Upper East Regional chairman was killed and the regional chairmen, through the flagbearer, informed the National Chairman that they could not attend because they wanted to hold party meetings in their regions. This was after a Steering Committee meeting had been successfully held and the Upper East trip was discussed.
6. This quarter(July-September), two attempts at holding Steering Committee meetings have not been successful because some members refused to attend even though all of them were properly notified. So, if some members are refusing to attend Steering Committee meetings, how can a NEC meeting be held? Even the flagbearer, though he was out of the country, was informed for his inputs, if any, into the agenda for the meeting.
7. That, having stated the above, the impression being created in the media that the campaign is possibly being unduly delayed and so let’s, as usual, divert attention from the real cause(s) and blame the National Chairman for it, is very wrong and unfortunate.
8. That, the National Chairman has done no wrong(s) which require “other executives and leaders of the party to decide to right such wrongs” for them to be accused of fomenting any division and chaos in the party. In fact, those executives, if they have decided to right non-existent wrongs in the party in the media, then, indeed, they are fomenting division and chaos in the party!
9. Mr. Afoko believes that the party must quickly finish with most of the ongoing parliamentary primaries, and then move on to form a manifesto committee to draft a manifesto for the party before thinking of appointing a campaign manager and forming a campaign team. This is because, without a message, which should be contained in a manifesto, what is the campaign team going to talk about. The party should have a campaign strategy!
10. That, the call by those behind the story doing the rounds in social media to the effect that, “It is not our wish that our party should always be in the news…” is a face-saving attempt by them to deceive genuine party members that they have been compelled by circumstances to go to the media. If their intentions were genuine, why did they not use internal party structures to seek clarifications on the issues they raised?
Moreso, when the flagbearer of the party as part of a news story headlined, “Mahama will do everything to hang on to power” published at peacefmonline.com on 5th August 2015 bemoaned the rush to the media with internal issues concerning the party. “We in the NPP, these days, always want to be in the news. We are always running to the media with our internal party issues. Let me emphasise this once again. If there are things you have to say which are critical in nature, please let’s do so indoors. We must move away from always sending all our problems to the radio and the newspapers,” Nana Akufo-Addo was reported as having told party members who had called on him.
For those who were demanding answers from Mr. Paul Afoko, the National Chairman of the NPP, these responses may suffice.