Akufo-Addo set Northerners against each other
Some members of the opposition New Patriotic (NPP) Council of Elders are reported to have secretly persuaded two top-rated ‘Northerners’ from within their ranks to individually petition for the removal of Paul Afoko as the National Chairman of the party.
The two petitioners: Alhaji Mohammed Aminu Amadu and Alhaji Sulemana Yerima, both NPP top chieftains from the Northern Region and the Upper East Region respectively have promptly obliged what has been seen as trying to give legitimacy to an earlier controversial move where a few members of the Council of State recommended to the NPP disciplinary committee to suspend the embattled National chairman.
The petition was signed by the two NPP Council of State members from the North on September 22, 2015 and October 1, 2015 respectively.
The two are believed to be strong loyalists of the party’s flagbearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, has same content and almost entirely similar to the earlier grounds stated by the Council of State members for the suspension of Paul Afoko.
The move was hatched, according to Republic Sources from the NPP, following Paul Afoko’s lawyers challenge to the jurisdiction of the Council of State to recommend his suspension.
Paul Afoko, also from the northern part of Ghana- from the Upper East Region, has consequently courted the petition from the two men from the northern part of the country as they expectedly try to create an impression that even his compatriots do not want him at the helm of NPP, this paper gathered.
Meanwhile, the embattled National Chairman has been given an October 21, 2015 deadline to appear before the party’s Disciplinary Committee to have his fate regarding the move for suspension and impeachment decided party sources have hinted.
Mr Afoko has on previous request to appear before the disciplinary committee, refused to appear before it, arguing that the processes being taken to get rid of him was illegal.
On September 7, 2015, the disciplinary committee of the biggest opposition party was inundated with complaints from both the National Council of Elders and some top guns of the party, alleging misconduct against Paul Afoko on a number of charges, including breaching NPP constitution and leaking internal party affairs to the media contrary to laid-down procedures of the party, as well as running to the police to probe the party on allegations of internal corruption.
“The conduct, more accurately, the inactions of the Chairman have led to a near paralysis of the party’s structures especially at the national leveland a year before elections. We do not have the luxury of time and resources and indeed the energy to dabble in palpable frivolities when we have a seating President to contend with at the polls in 2016,” Alhaji Aminu charged in his petition.
On his part, Alhaji Yerima stated: “ Since Chairman Afoko’s brother was arrested, after the death of our Upper East Chairman, Mr. Afoko and his family are at the mercy of the Attorney-General, members of government. His effectiveness in the entire northern part of the country is compromised. If he continues to lead us like this to election, we should forget it….It is my fervent plea that the chairman is asked to step aside for someone to act while we go to elections.”
For several months now, there has been an unappeased bad blood between the Akufo Addo camp and loyalists of the National Chairman and the General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong. The Akufo Addo camp believes the two were working secretly to scuttle the flagbearer’s presidential ambition in 2016.
Consequent violent confrontations between these two camps resulted in the death of Adams Mahama, a serious Akufo Addo loyalist and the Upper Eastern Regional Chairman of the party, following confrontations between thugs of the two camps.
Paul Afoko’s brother was arrested in the incident, having been linked to the murder.
The death that rocked the party has seen a sustained move by the majority Akufo Addo camp calling for the impeachment of the two top executives.
While putting up appearance that all was well in the party, Akuffo Addo is alleged to have endorses a plan by his loyalists to subtly get rid of Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong.
In a move to mend the cracked relationship between him and the two executives, and perhaps the bad press received by the impeachment move, this paper gathered that Akuffo Addo, upon his return from his recent three-week UK trip, was forced to call for the suspension the processes to validate the petition.
He was afterwards seen in several events in the company of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong. It is however, unclear why his nephew known to be very close to him, has gone ahead to present the petition previously thought to have been suspended by Akufo Addo.
This paper has gathered from reliable souces that when the NPP’s disciplinary committee meets today, Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong are likely to absent themselves in defiance of the impeachment moves being secretly fanned by people close to Akufo Addo.
The ageing twice-defeated Akufo Addo has earned serious criticisms within his party as being behind the divisions threatening to tear the party apart.
In public, he is said to carry an air of reconciliation, however, secretly, he is alleged to be plotting to get rid of all individuals perceived to be opposed to his leadership.
The NPP is currently torn between two camps, namely the Akufo Addo camp and the John Kufour/Alan Kyeremanteng camp. Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong are said to be aligned to the John Kufour/Kyeremanteng camp.
Loyalists of this Kufour/ Alan camps are said to be unhappy to be lead by Akufo Addo. Their reservations are varied; some believe his character does not warrant the leadership role vested in him, while others feel he is too old and frail to lead the party to the presidential polls in 2016.