NPP Should Listen to Amoako-Baah on Afoko
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Nov. 11, 2015
Dr. Richard Amoako-Baah is absolutely right that the decision by Mr. Paul Afoko to petition the National Council (NC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for his reinstatement as substantive National Chairman of the NPP comes much too late (See “Afoko’s Reinstatement Would Be Disastrous for NPP – Amoako-Baah” Modernghana.com 11/11/15). It may be recalled that Mr. Afoko was indefinitely suspended as National Chairman of the country’s largest party by the NPP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for what the membership of the latter organ of the party unanimously claimed to be Mr. Afoko’s gross and insufferable insubordination and multiple flagrant violations of standing party rules and regulations. At the time, Mr. C. K. Tedam, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party’s Council-of-Elders (CoE), bitterly complained that Chairman Afoko literally had the NPP “in his pocket” and was administering the affairs of the party without due regard for either the elders of the party or those of his colleagues and associates whom Mr. Afoko perceived to be staunch loyalists, or partisans, of Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2016 NPP Presidential Candidate.
Among the salient charges levelled against Mr. Afoko was that the National Chairman of the party had curtly breached party protocol by calling in police detectives to investigate the party’s finances, thereby subjecting the NPP to public ridicule and bringing its hard-earned reputation into abject disrepute. Mr. Tedam also said that Mr. Afoko had wantonly assumed the status and powers of an absolute dictator and was arbitrarily and summarily overruling his elders and hierarchical superiors in the proverbial pecking order at party meetings, including Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Mr. Tedam himself. We must also quickly point out that the decision to indefinitely suspend Mr. Afoko from the chairmanship of the party was based on recommendations submitted to the NPP-NEC by the party’s Disciplinary Committee, whose several invitations for Mr. Afoko to appear before it in order to answer pertinent questions bordering on the administration of the affairs of the party had been roundly rejected.
In essence, according to the Council-of-Elders’ Chairman, Mr. Afoko had effectively become a law unto himself. Well, even as Prof. Amoako-Baah has clearly indicated, Mr. Afoko has publicly vindicated the decision by the NPP-NEC by flatly refusing to appropriate channels established by the party for resolving grievances. Instead, the indefinitely suspended Chairman launched a high-powered lawsuit against the party caustically claiming that the NPP-NEC’s decision to suspend him was ultra vires and patently unconstitutional. We must also quickly note, at least in passing, that Mr. Afoko had cavalierly and further violated party standing rules by unilaterally ignoring its Legal and Constitutional Committee by personally causing to be appointed lawyers to represent the very party with whose National Executive Committee he was in frontal litigation, thus further vindicating Mr. Tedam’s very bitter observation that Chairman Afoko had effectively hijacked the party and was riding roughshod over any executive operative with whom he appeared to have an axe to grind, which means the overwhelming majority of party administrators at the NPP’s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra.
Now, having been opportunely finessed by genius legal lights like Messrs. Oquaye, Sr., and Odame, the embattled Chairman Afoko resorted to the crude and reckless use of anti-Akufo-Addo party agitators, and some have alleged paid National Democratic Congress thugs and goons, to mount picket lines at the party’s headquarters, as well as massively demonstrate through some principal streets of the nation’s capital, with the obvious objective of strong-arming his way back to power. Having miserably failed at using unorthodox means to countermand the all-too-justified and legitimate decision of the NPP-NEC to accord the heave-ho, Mr. Afoko has now been forced by reality to attempt to play by the established rules of the party. That is a rather tacky ruse that the NPP leadership would be very obtuse to fall for. In a lesser personality, the use of such crass intimidation tactics would be excusable. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, we are talking about a man who until his recent indefinite suspension, was Chief Administrator of the nation’s most democratically progressive party. At best, Mr. Afoko may be put on a two-year administrative leave, pending a review of his conduct, and be admonished to be of good behavior.