Paul Afoko’s indefinite suspension by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is a “coup d’état,” suspended founder-member Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey has said.
“It’s a very poor day for NPP…it’s sad for Ghana,” Tarzan, as the energy expert is known, told Asempa FM’s Ekosii sen political talk programme on Friday October 23, in an interview with Kwadwo Asare-Baffour Acheampong.
Taking such a decision back home, while the party’s flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo is outside the country, in Dr Wereko-Brobbey’s view, is comparable to a putsch.
“How can an elected chairman be suspended; on what grounds?” he wondered, adding: “Afoko is not an ordinary member of the party.”
“It’s very sad,” he said, for a “so-called Government-in-waiting” to be embroiled in such “chaos.” According to him, the party’s behaviour robs Ghanaians of a better alternative in next year’s November elections, saying the 2016 elections will be a choice between “chaos and incompetence.”
He said he hoped Mr Akufo-Addo “knows nothing” about the decision and “will straighten the party when he returns.”
By a unanimous decision at an emergency NEC meeting convened by first Vice-Chairman Freddie Blay on Friday, October 23, the party’s leadership upheld a recommendation by the disciplinary committee that Mr Afoko be suspended for allegedly working against the interest of the party and its flagbearer.
Present at the meeting were Bishop Asante Antwi, Chairman of the disciplinary committee; Harona Esseku, former chairman; Bugri Naabu, Northern Regional Chairman; Hackman Owusu Agyemang, a founder-member and elder; as well as Treasurer Abankwah Yeboah.
Others present include the party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman Antwi Boasiako; MPs KT Hammond and Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, as well as National Youth Organiser Sammy Awuku and National Organiser John boadu. The meeting was chaired by Mr Blay.
Ahead of the meeting, violence erupted at the Party’s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra. The clash was between pro-Afoko vigilante group Bolga Bulldogs and the party’s private security which calls itself Invincible Forces. A taxi and a motorbike were vanderlised in the skirmishes.
The pro-Afoko group insists the northern politician is being hounded out of the NPP because he is not of Akan extraction.
The petition was first filed by the Party’s council of elders in September, after Mr Afoko refused to honour four consecutive invitations extended to him over allegations that he and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong were sabotaging the Mr Akufo-Addo’s chances in next year’s presidential election.
Mr Afoko’s suspension paves the way for Mr Blay to act in his stead.
Mr Afoko has, however, said in a statement he issued Friday morning that the meeting was an “illegality” perpetuated by Mr Blay.
Following the Council of elders’ petition to the disciplinary committee in September, Mr Kwabena Agyepong wrote a letter to the party arguing that the committee could not take any sanctions against Mr Afoko.