Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wendesday, October 28, 2015
Chairman of Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), C.K. Tedam, says the suspended National Chairman, Paul A. Afoko, treated executive members of the party like prisoners.
The 90-year-old NPP stalwart, who was throwing more light on the reason behind the suspension of the beleaguered NPP national chairman, said on Monday that “every time he (Paul Afoko) called a meeting, he called it at hotels and he chose the hotel and he would bring all sorts of people, some semi-military to surround the place.”
He averred, “We didn’t feel we were a party. We were like prisoners being escorted together to be talked to by the chairman. So we all said no, we will not want it that way.”
He said that at one point, “we called a meeting of national executives and regional chairmen at the party headquarters and he told us we should rather come to his private office at Osu and all the members refused.”
The NPP last Friday announced that the National Executive Committee (NEC) had suspended Mr Paul Afoko indefinitely.
C.K. Tedam said that Mr. Afoko’s posture clearly showed that he was never prepared to reason with the elders of the party.
“He could send a lawyer to say he was sick and could not attend our meeting, yet when I closed and went to another of the party’s meeting, he was right there chairing it,” he lamented.
“Sometimes with Nana (Akufo-Addo) sitting there and myself as an elder sitting there, if he didn’t like anything that we are saying, he will get up and take the gavel and bang it. Finished! No meeting again, and then meeting closes,” he added.
The veteran politician said that there was nothing that could be done to convince Mr Afoko to resume talks with the party, adding, “Once he won’t come, he won’t come. The party was simply in his pocket. So anything he wanted done will be done.
“Paul Afoko was not coming to meetings and he was not calling meetings. We did everything possible to get him in but he would not come to reason with us. Our idea of calling him was to address him as a son so that the party would move together. And unity would be for all of us.”
Working Against NPP
He said Mr. Afoko was working against the interest of the party saying, “Clearly he is not supporting Nana’s move and we felt that is not going to help us.
“We now know very well that with Paul Afoko being there we cannot win the election. We heard the rumours about Afoko being a mole in the party but we didn’t take that into consideration. The way he was running the party was our concern. We felt that even though he relates to some of us, the party’s larger interest was paramount as well as the larger interest of the nation.
“We (Council of Elders) sent Afoko’s issue to the right place which is the Disciplinary Committee, and they in turn submitted their views. They invited Paul Afoko, just as we (Council of Elders) invited him first but he refused. I went to talk to him myself, he refused to listen.
“Our idea was to bring peace and harmony as fathers and mothers of the party. It was not our intention to impeach him. We simply asked him to explain his actions and he didn’t corporate. Since he took over he has not been going to the party office. He says he is afraid of his own shadow. We have done everything possible to speak to him but he does not give us the opportunity.”
One of the NPP elders whose petition led to the suspension of Mr. Afoko, said on Joy FM on Monday that every effort to get the beleaguered chairman to listen to ‘wise counsel’ failed.
Alhaji Sulemana Yirimea, a co-petitioner, said a delegation of NPP Council Members tried to prevail on Paul Afoko at the residence of another Council Elder, Madam Ama Busia, but nothing came out of it.
“They met 18 times, 18 times to try to bring sanity into the thinking of Afoko but to no avail,” he revealed.
NPP National Nasara Coordinator, Kamal-deen Abdulai, revealed his frosty relationship with Mr. Afoko when he granted interview to Peace FM yesterday.
"Ever since the Tamale Congress, I have not known good peace under the leadership of Paul Afoko," he said whilst endorsing the party’s decision to suspend him (chairman).
He said the relationship between them deteriorated to the extent that Mr. Afoko once brandished a gun in his presence.
“I say hello. I go to him. But when it comes to our party, if I'm asked (Chairman General – referring to Kwame Sefa Kayi, host of the radio programme) generally speaking; is the party going on well? I will say no...Truly speaking, there was an occasion when a gun was brandished but not pointed at me…Showing me a gun does not mean that he pointed it at me. Truth is that, there is a lot happening in this party,” he added.
Afoko At Post
In the ensuing confusion, Mr. Afoko insists that he is still the chairman and that the action of the NEC was unconstitutional.
A lawyer who represents the suspended NPP chairman told Joy FM on Monday, “I have 100 Supreme Court decisions to nullify Paul Afoko’s suspension,” since he said the process was flawed.
Martin Kpebu argued it was a fundamental rule that the one who alleges wrongdoing cannot be a judge in the matter and maintained that it was not right for the National Council to move to suspend Mr. Afoko and also have two of its members on the party’s Disciplinary Committee to hear the case against him.
Awuni Goes Berserk
Some staunch supporters of Mr. Afoko have been tearing apart people they suspect were behind the removal of the chairman.
One of such persons is Andrew Awuni, a former spokesperson for President Kufuor, who called 90-year-old C.K. Tedam a liar on Viasat 1 TV.
“I feel sorry for him [Tedam],” Awuni stressed. “He is lying. I’m not sure C.K Tedam knows Afoko’s house. Let the old men stop lying.
“The Disciplinary Committee should have referred their decision to the National Council [and not the National Executive Committee]… the party has been hijacked,” Mr. Awuni said.