Latest information picked up by the Republic Newspaper indicate several secret meetings currently ongoing within the pro-John Kufuor/ Alan Kyeremanteng faction in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) where they are seriously contemplating a possible split from the main party.
Reliable sources within the NPP have hinted this paper that top secret meetings have been held in Accra and Kumasi; in the homes of some powerful members of the Kufuor/Kyeremanteng factions where modalities have been discussed for a possible secession similar to what happened in 1979 to the NPP’s predecessor party- the Victor Owusu-led Popular Front Party (PFP) where an aggrieved faction broke away to form the United National Convention (UNC).
The 1979 break-away was instigated by Paa Willie, and uncle of the current NPP flagbearer, Akufo-Addo. In the ensuing confusion caused by the split, the two parties lost to the Dr. Hilla Limann Peoples National Party (PNP).
This paper cannot confirm individuals involved in this break-away discussion, but it is believed they mostly consist of the Kufuor/Alan faction who are currently fighting a deliberate attempt to use intimidating tactics to gag and destroy dissenting views in the party by elements who claim to have gained control of the party after the infantile removal of its chairman, Paul Afoko.
A statement issued by Frank Agyekum, special aid to former President John Agyekum Kufuor did not mince words on how the alleged removal of the main opposition party's chairman would spell doom for the NPP. He did not fail to chastise the party's flagbearer, Akufo-Addo, for being the chief architect of the current confusion that has rocked the party.
“By their act last week, the party’s NEC seem to have broken the hearts and shattered the hopes of many… the NPP by this singular act appears to have thrown its chances for winning the 2016 elections overboard, regardless of who is right or wrong in the matter,” Frank Agyekum, a special aide to former President John Kufuor, stated in a long article published on Wednesday to warn the NPP of a possible defeat in the 2016 election due to this ‘singular act’ of the party’s National Executive Committee and Disciplinary Committee.
Paul Afoko was sacked for allegedly acting unconstitutionally and leaking party secrets to the public.
Frank Agyekum warned: “How could a party in opposition gunning to take over the reins of power make such a move when elections were just about a year away? Did the party consider how deep the friction will run and how long it would take to resolve it? And wouldn’t the time and effort used in trying to repair the damage been better utilised in strategising for the campaign ahead?”.
Frank Agyekum hinted that Akufo-Addo was at the heart of the confusion as he influenced the removal of individuals he was not comfortable with and replaced them with people he could work with. “Nana Akufo-Addo, through the National Executive Council, caused the removal of these appointees and replaced them with those that ‘he could work with,” he said.
This development comes on the heels of last week’s controversial indefinite suspension of Paul Afoko, the party’s National Chairman perceived to have been aligned to the Kufuor/Kyeremanteng faction of the party believed to be working to scuttle the chances of the party’s flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the 2016 Presidential polls.
Maxwell Kofi Jumah, a former NPP government appointee confirmed on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo programme on Wednesday that there indeed exist this faceless faction working to ensure that Akufo-Addo does not win the 2016 election, but quickly added that this faction was in the minority.
Individuals such as Alan Kyeremanteng (Akufo-Addo’s biggest rival to the NPP flagbearership), and some party chieftains including Ayikoi Otoo, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, Francis Addai Nimo, Joe Ghartey, Kofi Konadu Apraku have been uncharacteristically quiet since the sacking of Paul Afoko became public.
This silence is for good reasons, according to party sources. They are said to prefer weighing their options of either breaking away from the NPP or scheming to push out the now powerful Akufo-Addo faction within the main opposition party.
The suspension of Paul Afoko was seen by the pro-Akufo-Addo faction in the party as a relief and are baying for further purging the party of individuals seen as opposed to the Akufo-Addo hierarchy.
Consequently, all suspected pro-Afoko loyalists such as the General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyapong have been targeted with intimidation and harassment. On Tuesday, he was violently attacked, leading to the total destruction of his car windows.
This intimidation and harassment by pro-Akufo-Addo groups are said to be the main crust of the secret meetings held in East Legon and Kumasi, as the aggrieved faction considers splitting from the NPP.
“How the NPP will be able to unravel this conundrum in which it now finds itself and still remain attractive enough to voters and win the 2016 elections remains to be seen. The party seems to forget that politics is a game of numbers. The more numbers you have, the greater your chances of winning at the polls,” Frank Agyekum concluded in his article.