General News of 2014-05-29

Formation of groups around individuals wrong – Kwabena Agyepong

General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Agyepong, has said he does not recognise emerging splinter groups in the party.
He said the party only recognises those by the NPP constitution.
“We want to make it clear that all the so-called emerging groups are alien to the dictates of the party, and for that matter, the party abhors such recent development,” he declared.
In a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic, the NPP scribe pointed out that “these groups are not known to the party and its constitution,” saying the constitution of the party proscribes the formation of splinter groups around individuals.
In the run-up to the heated presidential primaries of the NPP slated for December this year, a number of groups associated with the party and individual flag bearer aspirants have emerged on the political scene, marketing their preferred candidates and, in the process, uttering comments that are vitriolic against other aspirants.
On Wednesday, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2012 and 2008 presidential candidate of the NPP, distanced himself from an NPP youth group calling for him to run unopposed as the party’s 2016 presidential candidate.
A youth wing in the Greater Accra branch of the NPP called for all other aspirants to back off and hail their two-time presidential candidate in a popular acclamation.
But Nana Akufo Addo’s spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid, said it would be an “anticlimax” if the 2012 flag bearer of the party, whose democratic activism spans 40 years, endorsed calls for him to run unopposed.
There are also other groups — Concerned Crusaders of Nana Akufo Addo (CONAA) and Get Alan Kyeremanten Elected (GAKE) — both out to undo one candidate against another.
According to Mr Agyepong, “we at the national secretariat take a strong exception to these developments” and quoted Article 3 of the NPP’s constitution as stipulating that “members of the party shall protect and promote the good name of the party, protect the unity of the party, abide by and publicly uphold decisions of the party.”
“So it is very clear that no member shall take any action that would bring the party’s good image into disrepute,” he stated.
He disclosed that the party was in its concluding stages of preparing a code of conduct and guidelines to govern its presidential primaries.
He, therefore, urged every presidential aspirant and their supporters to publicly conduct themselves in the supreme interest of the party and strictly abide by the code of conduct when it was launched.
He reminded members and supporters of the supremacy of the party at all times, saying “the unity of the party is paramount.”
He said individuals of the party would have the opportunity to exercise their right of choice during the presidential primaries, and cautioned them not to do anything untoward.
The party would not hesitate to sanction deviant members, he stressed.