Politics of 2014-01-22

Infighting threatens NPP unity

Recent accusations and counter-accusations involving leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is threatening is the party's unity.

The man considered to be one of the key financiers of the NPP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong is on a collision course with National Executives of the party, thus deepening divisions.

He is fighting National Executives dominated by Nana Addo loyalists, a situation that could destabilise the Akufo-Addo faction ahead of National Executives elections and presidential primaries this year.

Mr Agyapong recently branded all National Executives of the NPP as not only corrupt, but thieves as well.

According to him, the National Executive members stole motorbikes he bought on credit from China for the NPP to campaign with in the run-up to the December 2012 polls.

He accused them of using it to campaign for themselves to be elected back into office. According to him, he is yet to pay for the motorbikes, adding that he is unable to sleep as a result; because the Chinese woman he bought the bikes from continues to harass him for payment.

But the Chairman of the main opposition NPP, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, says the party’s hard-talking Assin Central legislator never bought any motorbikes for the NPP as he has been claiming on the airwaves.

“I have not received any motorbikes or anything from Kennedy Agyapong,” Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said.

“I have been National Chairman for the past four years and I have never had Mr Agyapong bring me anything, either for a personal thing or for the party.

“The only money I know of is the monthly deductions that MPs make to help run the party,” he stated.

Obetsebi-Lamptey was perplexed that his own party member would tag him and other top party executives as thieves.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey lamented that for a party member to go out there and accuse his National Chairman and National Executives of being thieves. “I felt very saddened. I was appalled. I was saddened,” he bewailed.

The Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, also charged Greater Accra delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to vote out current executive members to pave the way for new and vibrant ones.

She expressed disgust at the attitude of the party’s regional executives, who she blamed for the party’s woes.

According to her, the regional executives did not offer support to parliamentary candidates, some of who - including herself - had to rely on the expertise of former executives to be able to win seats for the party.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful further accused Mr Ishmael Ashiettey, Regional Chairman, of running the party from his residence in Tema to the neglect of the regional office.

Reacting to the accusations, the Chairman of the Ablekuma West Constituency of the NPP, Theophilus Tettey, rather accused Mrs Owusu-Ekuful of being hypocritical in her call for Greater Accra Regional executives of the party to be voted out due to their failure to support parliamentary candidates in the region.

According to him, the Ablekuma West MP should not ‘pretend to be holier than the Pope’ by attempting to blame the Regional Executives for the woes of the party in the Greater Accra Region because some of her actions and inactions led to the defeat of the party in the region.

He revealed that in the heat of the campaign leading to the 2012 general elections, the party’s resources in the region were overstretched in the constituency and a request was made to Mrs Owusu-Ekuful for a pick-up truck in order to facilitate the activities of the party in the constituency, but she blatantly refused to release any in spite of the fact that she was in procession of five at the time.

He disclosed that the Greater Accra NPP has petitioned the party’s communication director to dismiss Mrs Owusu-Ekuful from the communication team as her utterances create problems for the party.