Paul Afoko Under Fire

Paul Afoko
National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Afoko, risks being suspended from the party as his recent conduct is being scrutinised by elders of the party.

NPP Council of Elders has petitioned the Disciplinary Committee of the party asking for thorough investigations into what they described as ‘the constitutional breaches of Chairman Afoko.’

In a letter dated September 7, 2015 signed by the Chairman of the party’s Council of Elders, C.K. Tedam and addressed to the Disciplinary Committee, he among other things demanded ‘at least the suspension of Chairman Afoko from his office until after the 2016 elections.’

He is also seeking ‘appropriate recommendation to promote discipline, peace, order, harmony and progress in the party towards elections 2016.’

It follows Mr Afoko’s decision to trade internal party affairs in the media contrary to laid down procedures of the NPP as well as authorising the police to probe the party.

Reasons
This was after the embattled party Chairman caused his supposed spokesman, one Nana Yaw Osei, to issue a statement in which he among other things alleged the divulging of a secret by the National Vice Chairman, Freddie Blay and the National Treasurer, Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah and the diversion of party funds without following due process.

According to the Chairman of the Council of Elders, this did not only come as a shock to only the party’s teeming supporters, but also members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the National Council of Elders (NCE), since there had been several attempts to resolve these matters internally – the reason for which a five-member committee was set up to investigate the allegations and counter allegations of wrongdoing.

Furthermore, Mr Tedam stated, ‘The timing of the press release just before the flagbearer announced his regional tours – starting from the Volta Region – seems to have been deliberate, the intentions being to divert media and public attention from the flagbearer’s political campaign to the internal difficulties of the party. Examination of last weekend’s media and public discussions lead to this conclusion.’

What seemed to baffle him the most was the fact that not only did Afoko honour a police invitation after a formal complaint was lodged by one Baah Achamfour about alleged missing party funds, he also proceeded to give the police a written statement which according to Mr Tedam, a veteran politician, ‘has the tendency to give more publicity to the matter and thus further taking the matter out of the hands of the party’s five-member committee and into the hands of other institutions (like the police) and outside the party’s control.’

Basis
According to him, ‘Taking the matter out of the party and putting it outside the authority of the National Council into the hands of outside bodies such as the police violates the party’s  constitution and constitutes misconduct by any officer and no less a person than the Chairman of the party…’

That aside, the NPP elder noted, ‘The Chairman’s ready acceptance of such intrusion into the party’s internal matters by the police, stemming out of an alleged complaint by a so-called party member without locus, seems to suggest his acquiescing to this blatant unfortunate situation.’

He therefore described as strange and worrying the fact that Mr Paul Afoko had till date not dissociated himself from the statement or the writer (Nana Yaw Osei), who described himself as the latter’s spokesperson.

Justification
In view of this, Mr C.K. Tedam emphasised, ‘The conduct of Chairman Afoko and his alleged spokesman is in gross and flagrant violation of Article 3D (VIII) of the NPP’s Constitution under ‘Duties of a Member’, which states that ‘A member shall not initiate, commence or prosecute any legal proceedings whatsoever against the party or any other member of the party relating to party affairs without first having exhausted the grievance procedure laid down in  this Constitution in respect of grievances against the party or any other member.”

The veteran politician therefore insisted that this has ‘created a lot of disaffection, panic, disregard, disfavour, contempt for the party throughout the media leading to considerable acrimony both within and outside the party, nationally and internationally; thus undermining further the party’s preparations towards winning the 2016 general elections.’

Concerns
Mr Tedam also expressed grave concern about the continuous refusal of Mr Afoko to call a National Council meeting, which in his own words ‘has caused great havoc to the good management and forward movement and political progress of the party in many ways as shown by the examples stated above,’ not to talk about what he described as the ‘several other infractions of the party’s Constitution and other actions of the National Chairman, which has brought negative perceptions of our party.’

It is in view of this that the Council of Elders of the NPP believes that ‘adequate grounds exist for referring the conduct of the National Chairman to the Disciplinary Committee.’ Mr Tedam insisted, ‘The party has reached the crossroad and definitive action needs to be taken immediately to bring all such misconducts and infractions to an end.’

By Charles Takyi-Boadu


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