Afoko Boys On Rampage

The demonstrators at the Press Centre, Accra

A new wave of insurrection spearheaded by elements close to the suspended New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman, Paul Afoko, and General Secretary Kwabena Awentami Agyepong was mounted yesterday, with the insurrectionists insisting that Afoko is still the chairman.

It appears that supporters of the two NPP leaders who were bussed from various parts of the country, particularly Hohoe and Akatsi in the Volta Region, were directing their anger at the NPP First Vice Chairman, Freddie Blay, who is acting in place of Afoko.

The people, some of whom were not apprised with the reasons why they were there, were seen being given handouts to cushion their efforts.

Strangely, Kwabena and Afoko were nowhere to be found, except Davis Opoku popularly known as OPK, an aide to the NPP General Secretary, who was seen welcoming and mobilising the ‘rented crowd’ at Amasaman area.

Mr Agyepong still believes Afoko has not been suspended, refusing to attend all recent meetings called by the acting chairman.

The insurrection comes in the wake of the resurrected spirit of the party when a record turnout of party officers endorsed the suspension of Paul Afoko, with Freddie Blay taking over as Acting Chairman.

It looks like the choreographed development, which took the form of a press conference and the presentation of a petition to the party headquarters, sought to undo the rather successful meeting of the party hierarchy barely 48 hours ago, and the party’s youth policy statement delivered by the flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Hordes of supposed party supporters were bussed from different locations to the party’s Asylum Down national headquarters to protest against Afoko’s suspension amidst chants of ‘bring back Afoko’.

That was after an attempt by another pro-Afoko group to overturn the NEC decision was thrown out by a court which asked them to use the party structures to exhaust their grievances.

This was therefore seen as an action intended to force the hand of NEC to reverse its decision.

The effort was led and coordinated by pro-Kwabena Agyepong and Afoko supporters who have been defending the actions and inactions of the party’s General Secretary and beleaguered National Chairman from day-one.

Even before sunset, reports had started filtering in that Kwabena Agyepong and Afoko boys were organising crowds from various locations to assemble at the party’s headquarters to give a semblance of aggrieved NPP supporters coming from the various regions across the country to demand that NEC overturns its decision to suspend the National Chairman.

Not too long thereafter, a picture of an aide to the General Secretary, in the person of OPK, surfaced on various social media platforms in which he was seen mobilising people from a certain location in Accra which has since been identified as Trobu-Amasaman.

He was also seen welcoming the so-called supporters, some of them reeking of alcohol, to Accra for onward march to the party office and later at the Ghana International Press Centre.

OPK admitted it when radio stations started calling him to ascertain if he was indeed one of those coordinating the effort.

Later, most of the rented buses, numbering about 19, arrived at the party headquarters with occupants wielding placards, some of which read, ‘bring back Afoko’, ‘no more chop chop in NPP’, ’12-member NEC cannot decide for us’, ‘Freddie Blay is a mole’ and ‘NPP is not a money-making entity.’

Others were, ‘obey the constitution of NPP’, ‘Afoko yes, Freddie Blay no’, ‘Volta region, Afoko still our chairman’, ‘Volta supports Afoko’ and ‘let your vote count in NPP.’

Interestingly, some of them could not even read the inscriptions on the placards when asked by journalists to tell the messages they were carrying, with others reeking of alcohol as though they were picked from the streets to join the action.

In an interaction with the paper, some of them admitted the fact that they were just invited to join the demonstration and promised to be given GH¢100.00 each so they decided to join.

But as to who invited them, they could not mention names since they were only seeing them for the first time.

Long before their arrival at the NPP headquarters, police had laid siege there to protect life and property.

Indications were that the leadership of the party was not informed of the presentation of a petition since none of them was at hand to receive it.

It was the Director of Protocol at the party headquarters, Mr Antwi-Agyei, who said he would forward their concerns to the appropriate quarters.

From there, the crowd was bussed straight to the International Press Centre (IPC) for a scheduled press conference where a team of policemen had been stationed.

It was there that the details of those behind the coordination of the activities became clear. They were known persons associated with Kwabena Agyepong and Afoko. They included the likes of Okai Kwening, a former campaign manager of Kwabena Agyepong, his photographer, one Mr Freeman, one other aide, Mujeed, serial callers Nana Bonsu and K.K. Nana as well as Poku Frefre and Atluk, an aide to Afoko.

Later at the press conference, one Dawud Mohammed, said to be the Kintampo North constituency secretary of the NPP, gave NEC a one-week ultimatum to overturn the decision or incur their wrath.

Present were former Western Regional Chairman of the NPP, Nana Owusu Ankomah, who was known for his role in the campaign team of failed flagbearer hopeful Alan Kyerematen, and others who were in the Alan camp.

They did not only question the decision of NEC, but also its authority in suspending Afoko.

According to them, ‘the supposed suspension of our duly elected and mandated National Chairman was ill-timed, disastrous and destructive towards the 2016 agenda,’ demanding that Afoko be allowed to discharge his duties fully as prescribed by the party’s constitution.

Some critics asked: ‘To what end would these agitations compel NEC to change its decision and restore Mr Afoko?’

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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