Arthur K Charges, As Kwabena Agyepong Escapes In Car Boot From Mortal Fear
Two-time presidential candidate of Ghana’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, is not only “dividing” the party, but also “permitting” the use of his name for thuggery and hooliganism in the biggest opposition party.
That is the charge leveled against him by his former Campaign Director, Dr. Arthur Kennedy, in an article he wrote in response to Tuesday’s mayhem displayed at the party’s headquarters by some irate gun-toting and machete-wielding supporters of the NPP.
But another party member, Kennedy Agyapong has in the presence of Nana Akufo-Addo, endorsed the guns, machetes, stick and stone attacks on his General Secretary and National Chairman while address NPP delegates in the Western Region.
Amazingly, the Presidential hopeful did not condemn the Assin Central Member of Parliament over his comment on the near death situation which saw the NPP General Secretary escaping in the boot of a car.
Writing from his base in the US, Dr. Kennedy said “This attack was not the first attempt to use violence and intimidation in settling differences in the NPP in recent times”.
The former flagbearer-aspirant, who, together with 15 others, contested Nana Akufo-Addo for the flagbearer slot in 2007, recalled that: “In 2013, a group of party activists invaded former President Kufuor’s house and tried to forcibly prevent him from attending President Mahama’s inauguration.
Last year, after Charles Wereko-Brobbey answered the party’s summons to appear before the Disciplinary Committee, there was an attempt to lynch him and it required about twenty police officers to extricate him from the party Headquarters. In addition to these acts of violence, there have been intimidations of NPP members on air and through text messages”.
“It is obvious, upon careful reflection that these hooligans—from Kufuor’s house through Tamale to the party Headquarters are being organised, encouraged, inspired and motivated by or on behalf of the 2012 Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. While he is a good man, he has permitted a lot of bad things to be done in his name.
“Even though those doing those things may be adults that he cannot control, he can forthrightly condemn violence and insults and dissociate himself from those who traffic in them. He has not done so. As these failures pile up, Ghanaians are increasingly asking whether the candidate who is actively dividing his party can—as President, unite Ghana.
“Respectfully, Nana must know that he cannot reach the Presidency standing on the ashes of a divided, demoralised and disgraced NPP”, the medical Doctor advised.
It has emerged that a couple of months ago, the General Secretary of Ghana’s biggest opposition party, Kwabena Agyapong, was forced to sneak out of the party’s headquarters in the boot of a car, so as to escape mauling by an irate mob.
Some angry supporters, who thronged the NPP’s headquarters on Tuesday August 19, 2014, to bay for the blood of Agyapong and party Chairman, Paul Afoko, were heard discussing how the former flagbearer-aspirant (Agyapong), had to hide himself in the boot of a car, to escape attacks on his person during the first violent rumpus.
Agyapong’s car boot-escape, according to the irate mob, happened during a near fisticuffs situation sparked by an attempt to replace the bodyguards at the headquarters with a new set of guards.
In Tuesday’s renewed clashes, Agyapong and Afoko were forced to seek refuge inside the party’s headquarters after the angry mob of gun-wielding and machete-holding youth stormed the premises to vent their spleen on them.
The two party leaders were in the middle of a press conference explaining their side of a story concerning some administrative changes at the headquarters when the mob charged on them with crude weapons.
Tuesday’s attack was a spillover of recriminations and disagreements that were sparked within the leadership of the party as a result of the new changes that were being introduced by the new leadership.
Meanwhile the beleaguered NPP General Secretary of the opposition, Kwabena Agyepong, has said he fears for his life hence his decision to change the security men at the party’s headquarters.
According to him, some violent actions involving the security personnel in recent times made it difficult for him to trust them with his personal security at the headquarters.
The NPP has been rocked with confusion following a directive by Agyepong instructing the acting communications director, Perry Okudzeto, to proceed on leave.
Some supporters believe the Paul Afoko-led administration is deliberately targeting party officials who are suspected loyalists to the NPP’s two-time presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.
However, the former NPP presidential aspirant said the suspicions are misplaced. According to him, anybody who has been asked to proceed on leave has been spoken to by the party leadership.
“People go about saying I’m violating the party’s procedures, I want someone to tell me one simple thing that I have done wrong and I will apologise. That is my nature. Let them tell me just one simple thing,” Agyepong told Accra-based Peace FM.
Commenting on Tuesday’s security exchanges at the party’s headquarters, he said: “How can I feel safe working with a group of men who have shown the potential to harm me. They have machete and other tools which are not needed by party security men. They can harm me and I won’t wait for them to do that. If I were your brother or your husband would you ask me to work under such conditions with these men?”
Meanwhile, former president John Kufuor has appealed to members of the party to remain calm and allow the leadership “room to operate.”
Kennedy Agyapong has predicted doom and gloom for his National Chairman and General Secretary, stating the two have “signed their death warrants” as the largest opposition party continues to be rocked by an open rebellion against and amongst its national executives.
Speaking with an air of finality, the Assin South MP told Western regional party delegates in Tarkwa:
“I feel sad for [Paul] Afoko. I feel sad for [Kwabena] Agyapong. They should sleep over it and consider that people brought them to power, and you know something? They have signed their death warrant.”
Weighing into the issue, power-broker and a controversial voice in the party, Kennedy Agyapong who was campaigning with aspirant for 2016 flagbearer Nana Addo, told the delegates from 26 constituencies in the region “It hurts me to see the Chairman and General secretary pushed around.”
With characteristic passion, he warned that “if they joke with the party, they should mark it on the wall, they won’t last a year; they will be removed.”
Waging war against national executives deemed a liability is not alien to Kennedy Agyapong. The businessman last January, said he was setting aside US$20 million to boot out of office the then national executives of the NPP led by Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.
With a few exceptions, many of the national executives lost their positions. Kennedy has warned the current party Chairman and General Secretary to learn from the misfortune of the previous national executives.
“If I was any of them, I would learn a lesson from what happened to Jake and his other executives.” He warned again that anybody who tries to scuttle the party’s chances of winning 2016 presidential elections will be brushed aside.