"Empty Barrels" Cannot Scheme So Suavely, Mr. Hammond

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York

August 20, 2014

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

Mr. Opare Hammond has every right, out of apparently justifiable anger, to call Messrs. Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong any names he wants, but "empty barrels" is the least apt description for these two conniving and scheming men. What ought to be decried is the abjectly low "security" system that enabled these two passionately partisan men to successfully use the party's electoral process to attempt to literally hijack the democratic will of the core members, supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) - (See " 'Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong Are Empty Barrels' " MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/20/14).

I had personally backed Mr. Afoko, going into the Tamale Delegates' Congress that elected the Bawku native National Chairman of the NPP, because I felt strongly that using character assassination to deviously and mischievously disqualify the well-known businessman was morally and politically inexcusable. I still believe in the righteousness of my decision to back Mr. Afoko. But I must also quickly point out that I am appalled by his vindictive attempt to seriously and deeply divide the rank-and-file membership of the New Patriotic Party, even while insisting on being hell-bent on returning Ghana's largest opposition political party into the seat of governance.

The preceding notwithstanding, suffice it to say that I am not the least bit naive about the loyalties of the NPP National Chairman. I have known since at least the dying months of 2007 that Mr. Afoko was rabidly anti-Akufo-Addo. I also wrote to vehemently condemn his allegedly brutal mauling by elements reported to be in the pay of Nana Akufo-Addo back then. As well, I have deeply felt that Mr. Afoko has every democratic right, like everybody else, to throw his support behind the sail of any party presidential candidacy aspirant that he so wishes and decides.

However, it ought to have become clear to him that in deciding to gun for the National Chairmanship of the NPP, Mr. Afoko was also publicly declaring the fact of him having transcended the sort of rabid partisanship that got him bloodied on the campus of the University of Ghana, in 2007, when he was alleged to have invidiously attempted to buy over committed Akufo-Addo delegates for Alan Cash, as Mr. Alan John Kwadwo "Quitman" Kyerematen is widely known.

My only regret here is having rather naively, in retrospect, assumed that Mr. Afoko, like most normal humans, was capable of emotional maturity and partisan transcendance. As for Mr. Kwabena Agyapong, my Prempeh College classmate, the least said and written about him the better. If I am not mistaken, this one-time Kufuor spokesman has even had intemperate occasion to exchange harsh words with his former boss in the most ungrateful manner; and so I am hardly surprised that he would presume to literally ride roughshod over nearly every party stalwart at the NPP's national headquarters.

In the past, Mr. Agyapong had also vitriolically lit into Nana Akufo-Addo in a manner that made one wonder whether, in fact, President Kufuor's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice had any hand in the brutal assassination of the NPP General-Secretary's father, Justice Agyapong. The preceding notwithstanding, Mr. Opare Hammond, the former NPP Director of Finance and Administration, has a point when he accuses Mr. Afoko of gross administrative incompetence, because the new NPP National Chairman clearly does not appear to fully appreciate the differences in roles and functions between a party Treasurer and Director of Finance.

But, of course, he is right only up to the point that Mr. Hammond, the former NPP-MP for Adenta, is only speaking in theory. In practice, it is the responsibility of the Finance and Administrative Director to ensure that the party's Treasurer does not take the party to the cleaners. If he had failed to ensure the preceding, then it absolutely goes without saying that Mr. Afoko is right to impugn the administrative credibility of Mr. Hammond.


Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame