Former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, says he is no longer expecting any appointment from President Nana Akufo-Addo, after he passed him by to give his dream job to another person.
He observed that the President is behaving like a typical Ashanti chief, who gets rid of his predecessor’s men and surrounds himself with his own people, after taken charge of the palace.
The man popularly known as Sir John, insists he is not surprised at Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to appoint someone else as Director General of the Ghana Ports and Habour Authority (GPHA) because as an Ashanti, who knows the history of his people, he knows what Nana Akufo-Addo is doing.
“With what I know of the Ashanti history, am not surprised”, he said, adding he will not railroad President Nana Akufo-Addo into giving him an appointment.
He could not say “yes or no” to speculations that his detractors at the presidency and within the party, may have engineered his snub. “I will not be able to tell,” he emphasised.
There have been lamentations in the NPP, over what is looking like the appointment of family and friends of President Akufo-Addo.
They include, Ken Ofori-Atta at Finance Ministry, Kwesi Amoako-Atta at Roads and Highways, Samuel Attah Akyea of the Works and Housing, Ursula Owusu Akuful of Communications Ministry, Nana Asante Bediatuo, as Executive Secretary at the Presidency.
The NPP folks feel, the President’s family members, have being given prominent positions to the neglect of many hard working party bigwigs like Sir John.
Duke Ofori-Atta and Michael Ofori-Atta, both in the 35-member Ghana’s 60th Anniversary celebrations, were also mentioned as the President’s immediate family members.
Whereas, Nana Fredua Ofori-Atta, Gabby Otchere-Darko, Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta all family members, are said to be operating behind the scenes in the Akufo-Addo administration.
Meanwhile, the new Director-General is, Paul Ansah, whose appointment was issued on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 having served as the Authority’s corporate, marketing and public affairs manager. He takes over from the progressive-minded, Richard Anamoooh, who was relieved of his position on January 23, 2017.
Sir John, who has been quiet over his inability to catch the eye of the President, broke his silence last Sunday, when he granted interview to a US-based Ghanaian radio station, Apple68FM in Virginia.
In the audio recording which is available to The Herald, the former NPP chief scribe, sounded very downhearted telling the host of the show, Nana Kweku Skirt, he is not surprise at the development, because even in kingship it happens.
Speaking with a heavy heart, he explained that what he is going through is not surprising because often times when someone is looking forward to be made a king, everyone helps in that course, but after he gets the position, he clears and destools those who brought him to power and brings his own people.
“You known even in kingship if someone get the position he brings his people. He destools those in the helm of affairs including the Kontihene, and he fills the vacant positions with his own people”, he said.
According to Sir John, he has been meeting President Akufo-Addo occasionally, one of which was at the funeral of the late sister of the Trades and Industry minister, Alan Kyeremanten in Kumasi last Saturday, but they did not discuss his appointment issue.
“We talk a lot but he hasn’t told me he will give me anything after that one. He hasn’t said anything even yesterday we met but he didn’t say anything.” he told the host in a not so pleasing voice.
Reacting to the turn of events and threats by his fans to demonstrate against the president for apparently sidelining him, Sir John said: “No, it is not necessary,” adding that a demonstration will create the impression that he was forcing the hand of the president to give him a job. “I know him [Nana Akufo-Addo], he doesn’t want to be pushed.”
He warned that any such demonstration “will hurt the party.” “It’s not necessary,” he added.
Asked if he was still expecting an appointment from the president, Sir John said: “No.”
He insisted it would be unnecessary to go on that path, because when it happens so it will look like they are forcing the president to do what he doesn’t want to do, adding they would have achieved nothing if they cut their tongue and ate.
According to Mr. Afriyie, actions such as the demonstration will be hurting themselves and the party and so they should discard the idea.
Speaking in Ashanti Twi he said “the demonstration is unnecessary in my opinion. It is as if we are pushing Nana Addo to do what he doesn’t want. He doesn’t like to be pushed to do if you cut your tongue and eat it, you wouldn’t have done anything.
Sir John confirmed to the host, he has heard General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has spoken about how he had been sidelined, but he feels his former opposite number was being politically mischievous.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia described Sir John, as a caterpillar which has been used to clear a road to make it motorable, and abandoned.
He responded to question, “Oh no. For me there’s nothing I can get again”.
Though he was sure he has lost every opportunity to serve in the government at least for now, he urged the host to be patient saying “let just wait it’s too early in the day”.
He sounded modest, when the host asked what could have accounted for non-appointment although he was one of the people who brought Nana Addo to power.
Replying, Sir John said “It took the work of every one of us to bring him to power”.
The former General Secretary is on record to have said that the then failed presidential candidate, was going to be the NPP’s sure bet for the 2016 general elections, at a time some wanted a new flagbearer.
He incurred the wrath of many party folks when as sitting General Secretary he was heard openly campaigning for Nana Akufo-Addo, nearly two years before the flagbearer contest.
Same Sir John, nearly went to jail when he was heard on radio passing unsavory comments about the Supreme Court justices during the Election Petition hearing filed by Nana Akufo-Addo, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
He was committed to fine and bonded to be of good behaviour, after he was found guilty of criminal contempt.