Opinions Tue, 10 Nov 2015

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Paul Afoko: Long time, no see

Good day, wherever you may be, my brother. Long time no see even though I have made previous attempts to get to you but to no avail, particularly since we came from Tamale in April of 2013.

I intensified my efforts when the initial conflicts began at the party Headquarters on your assumption of office. I remember the first time I personally met you was when you met the Western Regional Executives in Takoradi to inform us of your intentions to contest the national chairmanship position.

Prior to that meeting, I had spoken to you on phone about your intentions to establish a pro- NPP Newspaper to champion the course of the party. Someone had recommended me to you as a potential Editor of that proposed newspaper. He gave me your contact number which made it possible for me to call you and have discussions over the matter. I got to know through that discussion that you have abandoned the idea for whatever reasons. During your meetings with us in Takoradi, you outlined your ‘NEW PLAN FOR POWER’ programme which was attractive.

In your subsequent meetings with constituency executives from the region, you appeared so convincing in your love for the party and your resolve to bring the party back to power irrespective of which aspirant the delegates elected later on as the flagbearer of the party for the 2016 general elections. Every single delegate who voted for you in Tamale in April 2013 was aware of your unflinching support for Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, yet they decided to vote for you to be the party’s national chairman. The same people decided to vote massively for Nana Akufo Addo subsequently in the flagbearership race, indeed they gave him a whopping 94 percent, unprecedented endorsement any Presidential aspirant in this party in the political history of this country.

My brother Paul, even before the flagbearership elections had taken place, the Headquarters of the party was in flames as if a military coup had taken place and office holders were being dismissed by radio announcements. That was the beginning of the crisis in the party which has raged on for over two years. Since then, the party Headquarters has become a security zone, attracting the presence of Police personnel almost every day. Under your leadership, no good news have emanated from the party Headquarters that offers inspiration into the future.

The news media is always awash with very negative stories of conflicts within the party, so bad has been these internal rifts that a Regional Chairman from your own Upper East was inflicted with deadly acid which led to his death. Sadly, your younger brother is on trial for the murder of Adam Mahama. I can appreciate the trauma you are going through at this moment. My brother Paul, on a few occasions I had a chat with you, I had believed that you had the best of intentions for the party.

The question, my brother is, what is it that makes it very difficult for you to work together with your colleagues at the National Executive Committee, or better still, what is it that makes it difficult for your colleagues to work with you for the greater good of the party? Is it that you do not understand them or they do not understand you? Is it a matter of changed philosophy of the party for you on one side and the others on the other side, or it has been a matter of differences in management style?

Can everyone within the Executives be wrong and only you be right? Or that everyone is right and only you are wrong, what is happening? Paul, are you seriously happy that under your leadership, this party has not known peace since the delegates voted all of you into office. Paul, what kind of legacy do you want to bequeath the party, and how do you want to be remembered as far as your membership of the party at the highest level is concerned? In political science, the legitimacy of an elected office holder does not only hinge on the fact that one is elected to that office. One loses his or her legitimacy to remain in office if one fails to deliver on the objectives for which he or she has been elected to that office. People are not elected into political office for the sake of being elected, they have a responsibility towards those who elected them and once they fail in that regard, they lose their legitimacy to hold onto their position even though legally they can remain in office till the expiration of their term of office.

My brother Paul, can you in all honesty admit that you have lived up to the legitimate expectations of those of us who voted you into office? We did not vote to get a party that will consistently be in the news for the wrong reasons, my brother. There is also history to guide your performance. Ever since the NPP was formed in 1992, the party has had a number of chairmen, Da Rocha, Peter Ala Adjetey, Odoi Sykes, Haruna Esseku, Peter Mac Manu, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and you Paul Afoko. One cannot say that those chairmen were angels.

Indeed, Peter Ala Adjetey was never happy with J.A.Kufuor as the party’s candidate for the 1996 general elections but those differences were known in the inner circles of the party. Peter Mac Manu and Nana Ohene Ntow had their own differences as national Chairman and General Secretary of the party during their tenure. But none of these differences engulfed the party in this negative outlook than what is transpiring under you Paul Afoko. The impression you are creating in the minds of party members is that Nana Akufo Addo will never become the President of this country as long as you remain the chairman of the party.

You cannot get people, at least majority of the people to vote against Nana Addo, but you can make the party very much unattractive to the undecided voters. So far in my view, you have succeeded in bringing the reputation of the party into unprecedented question. You are by your leadership style and the unending conflicts between you and your colleagues in the National Executive Committee, hurting the massive followers of the party and creating a lot of disenchantment among the undecided voters who may decide to vote for the NPP.

Paul, if you do not have concretized agenda of ensuring the defeat of the party in 2016, why don’t you resign to allow peace in the party even if you believe you are right and the others are wrong and allow time to exonerate you? You seem to be engaging in meretricious and calculated manoeuvres with open contumacy to ensure the total destruction of the party. Paul, I bet that should that happen, the party will never ever forgive you as a person and nobody believed to be your supporter will ever lead this party, let alone become a President in the name of this party.

What that will mean is ‘you do me I do you’ and that will be the beginning of the end of the NPP. Is that what you wish for the party? The best thing to do under the present circumstances, for the sake of your own image and that of your offspring, and the future of the party and Ghana as a whole is for you to resign. I supported you, campaigned for you and voted for you, but I love the NPP more, I am more concerned about the future of Ghana more than any individual.

The best Christmas present you can offer this party, is to tender in your resignation as the party chairman to shame your detractors and allow posterity to judge you. Until then, in my candid and humble opinion, you are destroying your political future with the NPP on an installment basis. Please RESIGN NOW to ensure peace in the party if you love the NPP and Ghana. I am sure you are not a fan of mahogany bitters else I would bring you two bottles of unadulterated mahogany bitters any time I come to Accra. Have a good day.


Columnist: Daily Guide

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