Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Chairman of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) Council of Elders, C.K. Tedam, has broken his silence on the decision to suspend the party’s National Chairman, Paul A. Afoko.
He said the National Executive Committee (NEC) decided to ask Mr Afoko to step aside because he (Afoko) was acting against the interests of the party and running the party unilaterally.
Mr Tedam said the embattled NPP chairman on several occasions showed gross disrespect to leaders in the party, walking out of meetings in most instances.
“Sometimes with Nana sitting there and myself as an elder sitting there…if he didn’t like anything that we were saying, he will get up and take the gavel and bang it. Finished! No meeting again, and then meeting closed,” Elder C.K. Tedam told journalists in his Mamprobi, Accra, home.
Mr Tedam said nothing 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.”
The NPP last Friday announced that it had suspended the party’s national chairman indefinitely.
Mr C.K. Tedam, the veteran politician, told journalists that “having observed the way things were going, we were going into disaster so we petitioned the Disciplinary Committee.”
He insisted that Mr Afoko showed ‘arrogance’ and failed to honour several invitations to resolve issues amicably when things were getting out of hand.
He also accused the suspended chairman of failing on a couple of occasions to call for National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings among others, and pointed out that it made his continuous stay in office untenable.
“We’ve been asking him [Paul Afoko] to be in his own judgment. Because of that we sent it to the right place—the Disciplinary Committee. They invited Paul Afoko just like the Council of Elders invited him; and he refused. I went to talk to him myself; he refused to come. We wrote to him officially so that he will reply officially because our idea is to bring peace and harmony to the party.
“As fathers and mothers of the party, it was not our intention to impeach him because we thought that will take time and it will disorganise the party a little so we asked him to come and explain why he is not cooperating,” Mr Tedam explained.
He added that since Paul Afoko “took power, he’s not been going to the party office. He said he’s afraid of his own shadow. We have done everything possible and the Disciplinary Committee also did all that they could with our support to bring him for discussions and he himself did not cooperate at all.”
He said he again organised some influential personalities in the northern part of the country in an attempt to proffer advice to him, but Mr Afoko did not listen to them.
“And we believe that the only way we can handle this matter is to let the Disciplinary Committee take it upon itself because he can’t be judged in his own case and we only asked that he should be disciplined and should be asked to wait until things are put in shape. We planned to bring peace, but Chairman Afoko would not just cooperate,” he bemoaned.
The decision to suspend Mr Afoko indefinitely on stated grounds including misconduct was taken at an emergency meeting of the NEC at the party’s national headquarters at Asylum Down, Accra.
A statement issued by the party and signed by its Communications Director, Nana Akomea, said that “At its meeting today, Friday, 23rd October, 2015, the National Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation of the National Disciplinary Committee.”
The decision followed a petition by the Council of Elders of the NPP to the Committee amidst allegations of misconduct and other charges including breaches of the party’s constitution.
Mr Afoko was also accused of trading internal party affairs in the media as alleged by the Council of Elders, contrary to laid down procedures of the NPP.
Afoko Hits Back
But Afoko insists that he is still the chairman and that the action of the NEC was unconstitutional.
A lawyer who purportedly represents the suspended NPP chairman told Joy FM yesterday that “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.
“The decision doesn’t come into effect unless he fails to appeal. We must wait for the 21 days,” the lawyer underscored.