House of Chiefs split over Blay apology
The National House of Chiefs appears to be divided over calls on the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay to apologise to the President of the House, Togbe Afede and the entire House over alleged ‘insulting’ comments.
A statement purported to have been issued and signed by Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, Sefwi Anhwiasohene and Chairman of the Governance and Development Committee of the National House of Chiefs, which called on Mr. Blay to apologise to Togbe Afede over his ‘palm wine business talk’ comments, is making the rounds in both traditional and social media.
Interestingly, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi has distanced himself from the statement, saying neither him nor the committee issued any such statement to call on Mr. Blay to apologise to Togbe Afede and the House.
Speaking to Accra-based Accra FM on Saturday on the matter, the Sefwi Anhwiasohene, who is also the president of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, said that he was surprised that the statement had been attributed to him.
He disclosed that the committee, which he chairs, did not even meet to discuss the matter and wondered why the House of chiefs would author and issue a statement in his name without his knowledge.
Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi stated that he is not the spokesperson or registrar of the National House of Chiefs and could therefore not have issued a statement on behalf of the House.
“Per the structures of the House, even if the committee had met on the matter, the outcome of the meeting would have been forwarded to the standing committee of the House and not to the public as in this case.
“I’m very surprised; I just bought Ghanaian Times newspaper today and read the story which was attributed to a statement they said I signed.”
Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II told the radio station that he only got to know of the statement in the Ghanaian Times.
He said owing to the development he decided to contact the registrar of the House.
“I know nothing about that, so I called the Registrar [of the National House of Chiefs] and he told me that the Vice President of the National House of Chiefs told them that they should put my name under the statement because I’m the chairman for Governance. At the Governance subcommittee, even after a meeting or deliberation on an issue, we don’t have the authority to communicate it to the public, we have to forward it to the Standing Committee,” he stressed.
He could not fathom why his own people issued a statement in his name when he actually had no knowledge of it.
“I’ve not met or discussed this issue with anyone, so why should they write a statement [in my name]?” he queried.
Palm Wine Talk
Togbe Afede questioned Mr. Blay’s decision to purchase 275 buses for all the NPP constituency offices prior to the party’s National Delegates’ Conference in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
“Some time ago, it was one party building a multi-million-dollar headquarters, we all sat down and did not complain. And recently, an aspiring chairman of a party is buying several 275 vehicles.
“These are matters that should attract Nananom’s attention. And I’m very happy that at least the latest one has attracted the attention of the Special Prosecutor. Unfortunately, the canker has spread so deeply,” Togbe Afede was reported to have said.
But Mr. Blay, who insisted that plans for the purchase of the buses began 11 months ago, described Togbe Afede’s statement as arrogant palm wine talk.