By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, November 6, 2015
The latest development at the NPP front is that “The ongoing rancor in the main opposition New Patriotic Party has resulted in the death of one in Asawase, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti region. Abubakr Mohammed, 30, who owes allegiance to the current acting chair of the troubled opposition party Freddie Blay was stabbed several times in a confrontation with supporters of the suspended national chairman Paul Afoko Friday”. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/NPP-crisis-Blay-supporter-killed-in-Asawase-392447).
Folks, we are beginning to see unpleasant scenes develop in the NPP, which is the direct upshot of the Pyrrhic victory won by Akufo-Addo against his alleged internal detractors, particularly Paul Afoko. Any move to oust Kwabena Agyepong will add more to the equation to destabilize the NPP front, even though Akufo-Addo and his gang are relishing their success over their so-called internal foes.
Such a Pyrrhic victory won’t pave the way for him to have a smooth electioneering campaign season to accomplish his childhood ambition of becoming Ghana’s President “at all costs”. It will only lead to his political death. And from what has begun unfolding, I can predict convincingly that he is washing himself out of contention.
We have already seen the first two disturbing moments that herald the disaster aw2aiting Akufo-Addo. If his own party members are rising up against the action taken against Afoko is anything to go by, then, we can only foretell more trouble for the NPP. Those of us persistently writing about happenings in the NPP know what we are about. We will be vindicated sooner than later that Akufo-Addo is a threat to his own political front. As he bulldozes his way through, orchestrating at each juncture how to dispose of his internal critics, he is sowing seeds of discord that are all of a sudden bearing ugly fruit.
Two such ugly products are the demonstration at the national headquarters of the NPP by pro-Afoko elements (that the NPP leaders dismissed as futile agitations by NDC followers to create a bad name for the party. We have long since known that those demonstrators are NPP members) and the physical confrontation between pro-Afoko supporters in the Asawase constituency, Kumasi, leading to the death of a supporter of Freddie Blay. I expect the Asawase incident to be replicated in other parts of the country. It is not over there yet, though. More will follow to prove to Akufo-Addo and his group that there is more than meets their eyes.
The parallels are clear at this stage. Those supporting the removal of Afoko won’t change their stance and those against it will not change either. By congratulating his supporters on their action at the NPP’s national headquarters, Afoko is set to take the rumpus to a higher level.
The clouds of dissension gathering over the stern action taken against Afoko have begun bursting into torrential rains that will intensify in due course. It is unstoppable, which must scare the Akufo-Addo camp. But what can it do now to either avert the deluge or to contain it? Nothing really.
First, if the pressure intensifies to force the anti-Afoko leaders of the party to reinstate him, it will deepen all the more the internal crisis. Reinstating Afoko will seriously undermine the integrity of the various party structures and personalities spearheading the neutralization of Afoko. How will they turn round to swallow back their own vomit after spewing out so much dirt about Afoko? How will they justify the about-turn? And how will a reinstated Afoko co-exist in the party with the very bigwigs who have undermined him all this while? Certainly, oil and water cannot mix. Impossible.
Second, if the anti-Afoko elements dig in and he remains suspended, the agitations by his supporters will intensify and develop into ugly scenes of the kind that we are beginning to see. The Afoko lovers will definitely go beyond mere street demonstrations to take more serious actions such as destroying the NPP’s property (including office buildings and resources therein) or physically attacking those they see as working against their idol. Reprisal attacks will ensue and give national security much headache.
Third, some areas heavily behind Afoko will become “no-go” zones for the NPP’s campaign teams, which will clip their wings. It is possible for the Afoko lovers to do more than that, though.
Fourth, targeted attacks on the main architects of Afoko’s downfall cannot be ruled out. In a party known for negative tactics such as bomb-throwing and physical attacks on dissenters, I won’t be surprised if something worse than “acid-bathing” becomes a political tool for use within the NPP itself.
Fifth, the Afoko lovers will either defect from the NPP or remain in it to cause disaffection for it. More than that, they are likely to punish Akufo-Addo at the polls by either being apathetic (that is, not voting at all) or by voting against him. A huge possibility here!!
Folks, there are many other lines of action to be taken against Akufo-Addo and his gang. If the supporters of Afoko decide to intensify their agitations, the situation in the NPP will worsen. They have indicated that they are not prepared for anything other than Afoko’s reinstatement.
Considering the Asawase fracas, let me say that it is instructive because it is the first of such open confrontations—and it has happened in Kumasi, the nerve-centre of the NPP. Don’t tell me that those involved are Northerners. Once such a physical confrontation has erupted in the NPP’s stronghold, it says a lot. It cannot be ruled out that the clouds will thicken and burst into long-drawn-out deluge to damage the NPP thereabouts.
I have said it several times that it is one thing for those who matter in the NPP (whether as Constituency Chairmen, Regional Chairmen, or members of the various organs of the party) to orchestrate against Afoko and Agyepong and use undue influence to undermine them and another thing ensuring that their machinations are supported across-the-board by the party’s supporters.
Clearly, the machinations against Afoko (and Agyepong, who has been spared for now) emanated from the top, not the grassroots. Influencing elected party officials at the constituency and regional levels to rubber-stamp such machinations doesn’t mean that the ordinary party supporters support them as such. What we’ve begun seeing is a clear demonstration of that feeling.
Afoko and Agyepong were elected by the party’s delegates, but the actions taken against Afoko had nothing to do with the opinion or feelings of those delegates. Imposing sanctions on him won’t please those who still love him as their National Chair. That is why the agitation for his reinstatement will intensify. As we see the signs of an implosion in the NPP, we will comment on them, whether the party’s followers who hate our comments insult us or not. Ours is a yeoman’s job only so those who have eyes can see what we see and save themselves from the imminent political doom.
What else can the NPP leaders do to douse the fire? Dismiss Afoko from the party to cut everything short? Huh!!!!
I shall return…
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