The New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman, Paul Afoko, has denied rumours that he masterminded the acid-attack on the party’s Upper East regional chairman, Adams Mahama, resulting in his untimely death yesterday.
He asked the police to thoroughly investigate the matter and allow the law to take its rightful place. He also denied the involvement of his junior brother in the heinous crime.
Mr. Mahama, was confirmed dead at the Bolgatanga regional hospital after he was showered with acid by two unidentified men on Wednesday evening, while returning from his construction site late in the night. The two unknown men, stopped him and sprayed the deadly liquid on him.
A younger brother of Mr. Afoko by name Gregory Afoko and one Afukpa, have been named as the assailants. They are currently in the hands of the Upper East Police pending investigations and possible prosecution if found culpable. Gregory is said to be an ex-convict.
But speaking to Accra-based Starr News, the NPP National Chairman, said he has no hand in the killing of his regional chairman.
“I am a nonviolent person, and I asked the police to investigate this matter to the end.” This is a criminal matter and they should investigate it. Without fear or favor,” he charged.
In a separate interview on Accra-based Adom FM’s morning show ‘Dwaso Nsem’ yesterday, the NPP National Chairman, denied his younger brother was s responsible for the acid attack that led to the death of Upper East regional Chairman.
Paul Afoko, insisted that his checks revealed that his younger brother was fast asleep at home during the midnight acid attack. He condemned the attacks and stressed that he does not support violence in any form.
An aide to the late chairman, Usman Zakaria, said the deceased, before he was sent to the hospital, named the younger brother of Paul Afoko as one of the attackers.
According to him, Paul Afoko’s brother undertook the gruesome act with one Afagba who is also said to be a member of the NPP.
“He named him, the younger brother of Afoko and Afakpa as the persons and indicated further that if he dies, we should burry him in his village and also take care of his children…,” he said.
He added that Paul Afoko’s younger brother, has formed a group to protect him anytime he visits the Upper East Region.
Adams has been in the news recently after some irate supporters of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, chased out Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong, from a meeting in the Region.
The incensed party members, allegedly attacked the national executives and others with sticks and broken bottles for organising the meeting without informing the regional chairman Adams.
The timely intervention of the police prevented a bloodbath.
Adams, who was accused as the mastermind of the melee, later apologised, but cautioned national executives to respect party structures.
He said in the statement: “This unfortunate development was entirely avoidable. It has brought to the fore two urgent matters which have to be rectified as soon as possible and the elected National Officers of the Party must be proactive in doing so.
“Firstly, I am appealing to the National Chairman and General Secretary to stop this habit of sidelining elected officers they do not like. They must respect the structures of the party and work with the structures and hierarchy of the Party, including their colleagues at the Headquarters and the Regional Chairman across the country. The more they seek to sideline those the Party Constitution says they must work with the more suspicion and problems they fuel in the NPP.
“It was wrong for them to go on a region to region campaign without consulting the regional chairmen of the first two regions they visited. We want them to consult the leadership of the party in the various regions and not to sideline existing structures of communication and operation in the running of the party at the regional level.”
He added: “A case in point is the fact that I, as Regional Chairman of the Upper East, was in Accra the whole of this week until yesterday, and in fact boarded a morning flight to Tamale just like Chairman Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong, on Thursday. In fact they were well aware of my presence in Accra as I had been to the National headquarters on several occasions during this week, and yet they chose not to inform me about their intention to visit my region. They rather chose to consult and work with some constituency and regional executives. This is not helpful, especially at a time when we want to build unity at the leadership level.
“Secondly, I urge the National Chairman and the General Secretary to stop their preferred mode of operation, which is to sideline the other elected National Officers in decision making at the top.
It is only fuelling flames of suspicion and I urge them to stop this and begin working with the rest of the team. After what happened at the last Steering Committee, the rank and file of the party want to see the National Officers working together.
Would it not have been nice if the Chairman and the General Secretary had chosen to go on this trip of the regions with the other National Officers to show unity? If they want to be believed that they mean well then they should let us see that they are prepared to work with the other elected National Officers.
The Chairman and General Secretary, should not be seen to be trying to run a two-man show, and by that marginalise the other executives. They should be seen travelling and working with the other national officers to show a united front to the members of the party.
“The delegates in Tamale, last year, elected National Officers on the same day and charged them to work together, and that is what the rank and file want to see. We at the regions are willing and ready to work with all of them but we shall not tolerate anybody who wants to be an impediment in the route to victory in 2016.”
Meanwhile, supporters of the late Mahama, have attacked three Upper East regional executives of the NPP yesterday at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, when they went to commiserate with the family of the late regional chairman; their boss.
Their vehicles were smashed by some angry youth, who accused the executives of feuding with the chairman before his death.
They are wondering why the executives are showing concern over the death of the chairman after his death.
The timely intervention of a combined team of military and Policemen averted what could have been a bloody clash at the hospital.
The victims include both the first Vice Chairman of the party in the region, the Navrongo Constituency and Bolgatanga Constituency chairmen.