Suspended National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Paul Awentemi Afoko is winning the hearts of many bigwigs and supporters of the biggest opposition party in his pursuit to overturn the National Executive Committee’s decision to suspend him indefinitely, The aL-hAJJ can confirm.
Aside youth groups daily and openly declaring their support for him to use the justice system to fight what they described as injustice meted out to him, a number of big shots of the party are reported pledging solidarity and allegiance to the business magnate’s action at the Human Rights Court in Accra.
Party insiders told The aL-hAJJ that some leading members of the NPP, both home and abroad, now convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Nana Akufo-Addo has destroyed the party and its chances in 2016, have decided to rally around Mr. Paul Afoko to restore hope and position the party to form the next government after John Mahama.
Among party gurus throwing their weight behind Afoko whom they now refer to as “the Messiah,” according to a dependable source, include founding members, some members of the council of elders and national, regional and constituency executives and influential Members of Parliament, regrettably, including the slain Akuakwa North legislator.
Checks in the house of the legislature by The aL-hAJJ revealed that the minority bench is almost equally divided along the lines of the party Flagbearer and the suspended chairman.
Nonetheless, there is a commonality amongst the minority MPs, that is; regardless who wins or loses the court case, they are united in fighting to win their respective constituency elections.
Most party heavyweights, sources say, are highly optimistic that the suspended National Chairman is most likely to win the court case either at the Human Rights Court or even on appeal and as such have been mulling over how to run the party thereon.
There are also reports of ongoing meetings to strategize on the way forward after the court verdict and, on how to rebrand the party and make it more attractive post-Nana Akufo-Addo era.
Following his indefinite suspension by the NPP NEC for alleged constitutional breaches, Paul Afoko on December 7, 2015, commenced proceedings at a Human Rights Court in Accra against the NPP and its first vice chairman, Freddie Blay; on grounds that his suspension, which was subsequently ratified by the National Executive Council of the party; was unconstitutional.
In a writ of summons issued against the NPP and its 1st vice chairman, now acting National Chairman, Paul Afoko is among other things praying the court to declare his suspension null and void.
Last week, a pro-NPP group based in the party stronghold of Ashanti, Youth for Afoko, openly stated their intention to support Paul Afoko in his court action.
According to the group, Paul Afoko’s dream of upholding the tenets and ideologies of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition “is what drives us most to support him.”
In a statement jointly signed by leaders of the group, Barima Sarpong, Charles Macarthy and Nana Yaw Sarpong, the group noted that they share the sentiments of the suspended Chairman for which reason he is seeking redress in court.
“We urge our numerous members across the breadth and length of this country and overseas not to flounder or get discouraged as the battle still remains the Lord's.”
“Mr Afoko is the Washington of our time who can only see Hessians at Trenton and not the Delaware chocked with Ice. We are proud and humbled to rally behind such a brave Giant. We consider the court action taken by Mr. Paul Afoko, which will soon begin as the last stage of our party's resurrection,” the statement noted.
Meanwhile, suspended 2nd vice chairman of the party, Sammy Crabbe has insisted that Paul Afoko is still the National Chairman of the main opposition party.
Speaking to the media last week after the NPP and Freddie Blay failed to show up in court when the case was called, Sammy Crabbe said “let me correct you, he is not a suspended chairman. They have done an illegality, that is why we are here, so, I think you should be correcting that otherwise you will give credence to this illegality and this coup d’état that some primitive minded people in the party are trying to perpetrate.”
The NPP, through its lawyers, earlier wrote to the court presided over by Justice Anthony Yeboah to ask for an adjournment. The case was therefore adjourned to February 16, 2016.
But Sammy Crabbe, who was not amused with the party’s absence in court, angrily said “I pray that they come at the next adjourned date so that we all sit down and resolve this issue. It is very important that we resolve it very early so that we can prosecute the campaign. Officers in this party feel unsafe and insecure and I doubt if they will have the commitment and the motivation to be able to manage polling stations and make us win an election.”