Ghana’s National Security must be present at the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for today, November 3, 2015, that is the warning from the governing National Democratic Congress’ MP for Ablekuma Central, Mr Theophilus Tetteh Chaie.
He told Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen political talk show hosted by Kojo Asare-Barfour Acheampong on Monday, November 2, that knowing the NPP’s recent violent history with such meetings due to the internal wrangling in the party, it will be prudent for personnel of the National Security to be deployed at the Asylum Down headquarters to safeguard life and property during the meeting.
Acting chairman Freddie Blay is convening the meeting, which has been confirmed by Director of Communication, Nana Akomea, on the same programme.
Mr Akomea said the party, despite an application for interlocutory injunction filed by some of its members against holding such meetings, will go ahead with the meeting.
Flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, who returned home recently from an international tour, according to Mr Akomea, may join the meeting at the Asylum Down headquarters, if he so wished.
A similar meeting last week degenerated into violence when stones were hurled at the General Secretary’s Sport Utility Vehicle. The car’s rear screen got cracked as a result.
Three aggrieved plaintiffs sued former President John Kufuor, Mr Akufo-Addo and 28 other prominent members and leaders of the party over the recent indefinite suspension of the first-ever elected northern chairman of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo family.
The three plaintiffs are, through the interlocutory injunction application, aiming to declare Mr Paul Afoko’s suspension null and void, and also restrain the respondents from recognising Mr Afoko’s deputy, first Vice-Chairman Freddie Blay, as acting Chairman.
In the same vein, they are praying the court to restrain Mr Blay and the 29 other respondents, respectively, from convening and attending meetings “without the purportedly suspended chairman of the party (Chairman Afoko) being the convenor of the meetings.”
The three Ashanti Regional members – Tweneboa Kodua Emmanuel, Stephen Owusu and Joseph Oppong – also want to “restrain the defendants from taking decisions in any meeting not convened by Chairman Afoko, until this dispute is finally determined.”
By a unanimous decision at an emergency NEC meeting convened by Mr 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. Mr Blay chaired the meeting.
Ahead of the meeting, violence erupted at the Party’s 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 vandalised in the skirmishes.
The pro-Afoko group insisted the northern politician was being hounded out of the NPP because he is not of Akan descent.
The petition was first filed by the Party’s council of elders in September, after Mr Afoko refused to honour several consecutive invitations extended to him over allegations that he and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong were sabotaging Mr Akufo-Addo’s chances in next year’s presidential election.
The aggrieved litigants, who filed the writ at the human rights court, argue that Mr Blay’s meeting contravened the NPP’s constitution (Article 9D), which permits only the chairman to convene such a meeting.
Mr Afoko’s spokesperson has also insisted in several media interviews that his boss remains in charge of the NPP.