The flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, got it wrong when he endorsed the indefinite suspension of the party’s National Chairman, Paul Afoko, a former presidential spokesperson, Mr Andrew Awuni, has argued.
“I profoundly regret that matters have come to this. Such a development has been rather rare in the history of our party. I had hoped that internal discussions and a spirit of cooperation would have enabled the party to avoid such an eventuality.
“However, the appropriate organs of the party have acted. I am, therefore, calling on all loyal members of the party to respect the decision of the NEC and the constitution of the party, which provides channels for redressing grievances.
"We need to conduct ourselves in a disciplined manner that will protect and promote the integrity and unity of the party,” Nana Addo said, following the suspension of Afoko.
Andrew Awuni, who served in former President John Kufuor’s administration, said he was surprised by the flag bearer’s stance because he was endorsing an illegality.
“Akufo-Addo surprises me, and he is wrong,” Awuni told the host of Ghana Report, Bernard Avle, last Monday.
He added: “There is a new culture in the NPP, and we’ve got to clean it. This attitude won’t send the party anywhere.”
Awuni advised Afoko, who has two weeks to appeal the indefinite suspension, not to appeal “an illegality” because “he remains the chairman of the party.”
Afoko is serving an indefinite suspension and in his stead the first vice chairman, Freddie Blay, will act.
In another development, Mr Awuni has called on NPP delegates to resist Afoko’s suspension.
It appears the suspension of Paul Afoko has rekindled the deep-seated factionalism in the party.
The National Executive Committee of the NPP on Friday, October 23, unanimously endorsed a recommendation by the party’s disciplinary committee, suspending Paul Afoko for misconduct.
Since the suspension, several party bigwigs and groups have expressed their views on the development, somewhat confirming the divisions in the party.
While Charles Wereko Brobby, a leading member of the NPP, has likened the suspension to a coup, an avowed critic, Dr Arthur Kennedy, has labelled the party as inhospitable to northerners.
Mr Awuni, one-time spokesperson for former President Kufuor, is also asking delegates who voted at the last congress, to resist Mr Afoko’s suspension.
Mr Awuni’s call comes in spite of directives by Nana Akufo-Addo to all party members to accept and respect the decision of the NEC.
Speaking on Neat FM, an Accra-based radio station, an emotional Mr Awuni questioned why Mr Paul Afoko, who was going through personal disturbing experiences, would be treated in such a manner regardless of his sacrifices for the party.
He thus charged the delegates who voted Afoko into office to rise up and oppose his suspension.
“How wicked can a man be to his neighbour? The man’s father is still lying on the ground waiting to be buried so to speak. The man’s direct younger brother is in prison custody now because of the very machinations of his own party…and I know exactly what Paul has done for this party.
It’s about total disrespect for the entirety of this party; and until constituency and polling station executives who went to queue to vote stand up and say no, this party has been hijacked. I mean this party is not going anywhere with this type of attitude,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the suspended Chairman, Nana Yaw Osei, says the embattled Paul Afoko, who still considers himself the chairman, will seek redress at the court, if the internal party structures fail to exonerate him.
Meanwhile, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, has served notice that Mr Afoko has two weeks within which to appeal the decision using the internal party structures.