A coalition of youth groups of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Upper East Region has endorsed the decision of the Disciplinary Committee and the National Executive Committee of the party to suspend the party’s National Chairman, Paul Afoko, indefinitely.
The coalition is made up of Progressive Youth Alliance, Zongo Youth, Dazota, Atlantic Base and Holland Base, all recognised youth groups affiliated to the NPP in the Upper East Region.
Contrary to claims that the party would lose many northern votes as a result of the suspension of Mr Afoko, the coalition members said they were solidly behind the party and urged members of the party across the country to disregard those claims.
“It must however be made clear that Mr Afoko as chairman could not and cannot campaign in the region, since his family member is linked to the death of Chairman Adams Mahama. His suspension has rather brought relief and trust to the teeming youth within and outside the party in the region,” they stated at a press conference in Bolgatanga.
Secretary to the coalition, Sanusi Issah, said the party is better off in the region without the involvement of the suspended National Chairman in its campaign activities. According to the coalition members, they do not hate Mr Afoko but have endorsed his suspension because that is the best way the party can unite and focus on its activities towards the 2016 general elections.
“…we want to state clearly that it was great joy when the National Congress of the party hosted for the first time in the northern part of the country produced a northerner as the National Chairman. Our understanding and wish was that just like Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who has since his selection as running mate increased the momentum and attractiveness of the party in the three Northern Regions, the election of Mr Afoko would support this great cause. In fact, we in the Upper East Region were especially happy to have the first northern National Chairman from here,” the coalition noted.
Their problem with Chairman Afoko, they stated, was his divisive tendencies since he was elected National Chairman of the NPP in April 2014.
“We must again state that we began to feel very apprehensive and rather more confused when he started his reign with a divisive inclination. We all recall his attempts to sack and replace the security at the party head office… Again his unilateral removal of party directors such as Opare Hammond and Perry Okudzeto, Directors of Finance and Communications respectively, without following party procedures… His continuous hatred and inability to work with other elected party officials have only deepened the perception of disunity in the party. This has further thrown the party into public ridicule and armed our opponents with tools to attack the party,” the coalition lamented.
They asked party members to disregard any attempt to link Mr Afoko’s suspension to tribal discrimination, saying, “…it is rather so interesting that some supposed spokespersons have since his suspension brought up the issue of him being a northerner. We wish to state that the NPP is a national party and as youth groups in Upper East, we rather see this suspension as a good indication of the party’s love for all Ghanaians irrespective of where one hails from.”