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Opinions Thu, 26 Mar 2020

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When your MP foolishly gifts GHC100,000 to his opponent: The mistake of Afenyo Markin

Afenyo Markin 556x375.png Afenyo Markin

Before early last year, I had always perceived the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alex Afenyo Markin to be politically smart. Unfortunately that seemed not to be the case. The fact is, he had not met a good competitor in his entire political life.

In 2012, he triumphed over the former Effutu MP, Mike Hammer, who had at the time been an MP for three terms and was seeking to be reelected for the fourth time. The people of Effutu were definitely tired of him and needed a new face. Afenyo beat Don Arthur in the 2016 elections. Don Arthur had never been to Winneba, could not speak the Effutu language and did not understand the political dynamics at play. This was also in the era where the whole country was yearning for a change.

Luckily for Afenyo, he won by an unprecedented margin of over 10,000 votes. That had never happened in the history of the Effutu Constituency. He set a new political path and was making the Effutu seat a comfortable one for the NPP.

Unfortunately that glory, through Afenyo’s own actions, is weaning off. Since 2016, he has been making a lot of grievous political mistakes that, in my view, will marvel any normal thinking person.

If you can remember, around this same time last year, I authored an article titled “A Notice from Effutu to the NPP National Executives” (you can search for it online). In that article I gave an insight into the political dynamics in the Effutu Constituency. In that piece, I advised the National Executives of NPP to step in to settle scores in the Effutu Constituency between Alex Afenyo Markin and James Kofi Annan. Sadly, that was not done and my party, NPP is gradually loosing grounds in Effutu.

It started with the attack on the University of Education. In a mischievously coup d'état manner the MP, Afenyo, allegedly managed to sack Prof Mawutor Avoke and Dr. Theophilus Akorli, facilitated the installation of Rev Fr. Prof Anthony Afful Broni, self-imposed himself as the Co- Vice Chancellor of the University of Education and allegedly hijacking all contracts in the University.

When the Catholic Priest resisted, Afenyo turned around to attack the same priest he lobbied to be installed as VC and the University. Afenyo allegedly orchestrated a demonstration at the University, indiscriminately started suing the management of the University on every frivolous and unnecessary issue and tarnishing the image of the University. As if that was not enough, he allegedly dragged the revered Winneba Zongo Chief into the issue by concocting a letter in the chief’s name to the University management and releasing it into the media.

All these have happened and are indelibly written in the memory of most people especially the staff of the University. Most people, out of this chaos our MP created in the University, have lost their jobs, indiscriminately been transferred, and suspended among other things. The University, as I write, even though is trying to reconcile, is sharply divided among Avoke’s followers and Afful Broni’s followers. And if Afenyo knows, then the unfortunate but hard reality is that none of the two groups is for him. Even a ‘blind’ follower of Avoke knows that this whole mess was created by Afenyo. Afful Broni’s followers have also come to realize that Afenyo fought to get Afful Broni as the VC so that he can manipulate him for his own interest. Tactlessly, that could not materialize. This is how Afenyo is losing in the University Campus.

All this is aside the numerous grievous mistakes he has been doing in town, the Fancy Dress Wahala, the Aboakyer brouhaha, the beating and threatening of people by his Zongo thugs, the court injunction placed on two elected assembly men among others. All these have happened and are happening under the watch of discerning people. It may seem that people have short memory but that is not the case. Some of us are keenly watching and worried about how Afenyo is gradually weakening our party. If I were Afenyo, I would take a cue from the recent happening in the Effutu NDC; how they had to cross carpet to get an independent candidate as their Parliamentary Candidate. The truth is that, as at now, that was the only option for them.

Unfortunately, that is where Afenyo is leading our party to. The Effutu NPP cannot boast of any person who is possibly capable of stepping into the political culture Afenyo is creating; the dictatorship, the money sharing, the hijacking of the Assembly projects and deceit are things shall all go a long way to weaken if not kill the NPP party in Effutu. If this does not stop, my part people will pull this article one day and use it as a reference point.

Recently, the General Secretary of the Effutu Constituency, Mr Mbir Taylor sent a complaint letter to the NPP Regional Office. In that letter was a lot criticisms against Afenyo Markin and the Constituency Chairman. Clandestinely, most if not all the accusations in the letter are true. Obviously, there are a lot of things happening and if care is not taken, we may end in a worse state, more than what the Effutu NDC use to find themselves.

Take it or leave, we succeeded in making the NDC in Effutu very weak but unfortunately through the actions of our own MP and some of the current constituency executives the NDC is now awakened. Unless we are deceiving ourselves, the Effutu NDC is gradually rebuilding their party. We were almost close to making Effutu a safe seat for the NPP but unfortunately we have lost it.

If even we manage to win the 2020 elections, we can’t win the 2024 elections. That is a fact. Our MP is already loosing grounds and it won’t get any better with the way he is handling things. The Effutu NPP seems to be taking things for granted.

We sat and watch as James Kofi Annan walked away, we were playing around and doing name calling when he was busily building his Winneba is King Movement. We failed to settle the scores, we arrogantly promoted his brand till he gained a huge political status, we ignored NDC and made him the focus in all our communication both online and offline. We made him a force to reckon with and that forced the NDC to go for him. The fact of the matter is that we, the NPP, are the same people that are helping the NDC to rebuild their party. What even makes it more annoying is that we go on social media and ignorantly hype him in the name of attacking him.

Last week, I read a press release from James Kofi Annan alleging that the MP and the Police service are trying to scandalize him and accuse him of stealing. When I read it, I brushed it aside and saw it as one of those political gymnastics and mischief. Later, I saw another press statement by the Effutu Municipal Police Commander. When I watched the Commander’s video I became interested in the issue and started following it. I was at the court last Friday and from the Window I watched the entire court proceeding.

Truth be told, I was very ashamed at my party. This propaganda will not sell. We seem to be using the same old approach. Every discerning person will know that this thing is a complete set up. We are yet again giving the man free publicity and public sympathy. How can you promise to give someone money, deposit same in his account, bring him the pay in slip and then turn around to accuse the person of stealing your money? So for all these years, are we now seeing Kofi Annan to a thief? Why now? This won’t sell. Like Kofi Annan’s lawyer rightly stated “THIS IS FRIVOLOUS AND NKWASIASEM” and he has every right to say that.

What even made me angrier is when I saw the MP’s boys at the court taking pictures and trying to sniff information which I know will eventually end on social media. That was completely needless and immature and confirms your opponent’s allegations that you are behind the set up. What will we achieve from this? There are more critical issue to discuss; corona virus, unemployment, youth empowerment, the Effutu dream among others.

Let us be real to ourselves as a party, we know that we have failed on this one too. We have foolishly given our opponent One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 100,000) for free. This, like most of the frivolous UEW suits, will not go anywhere. This money could have been used to purchase some washing basins, sanitizers, and soap for some institutions in Effutu. That could have even gotten us some votes.

We are about Eight months away from the elections. We must start putting our party in order. It’s time we start critiquing our leaders and force them to do the right things. Afenyo is messing around and we must speak truth to power. The kind of politics we are doing in Effutu will cause us more harm than good in not now, in the future. If we DON’T TAKE CARE…if we DON’T…

A word to the wise…

benyawson1983@gmail.com

Columnist: Benjamin Yawson

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