The Kyebi Executive Council, a committee under the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council in the Eastern Region, has declared the National Democratic Congess (NDC) regional chairman and youth organiser persona non grata.
Mr Bismark Tawiah Boateng, the regional chairman, and Mr Owiredu Haruna Apau, the regional organiser, were declared unwanted in Akyem Abuakwa following a meeting of the Executive Council.
The two were alleged to have made disparaging remarks against the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, on several occasions prompting the decision at a meeting chaired by the Abontenedomhene and leader of the Executive Council, Osabarima Kyeretwie Boakye – Danquah.
The decision has been copied to the Eastern Regional Minister, Miss Mavis Ama Frimpong.
Confirming the development in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Public Relations Officer of the traditional council, Mr Dan Ofori – Atta, described the behaviour of the two personalities as reprehensible.
The council alleged that after the 2012 general election, Osagyefuo Amoatia went to the Flagstaff House to congratulate President John Dramani Mahama on his victory.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta, the Okyenhene used the occasion to urge President Mahama and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to abide by the outcome of the election petition then before the Supreme Court.
He said the President accepted the call in good faith and pledged his commitment to the rule of law and democracy.
“Moments later, Mr Tawiah-Boateng led the NDC executives in the Eastern Region to launch attacks on the Okyenhene, calling him all manner of names, thus bringing the sanctity and dignity of the chieftaincy institution into disrepute.
“Attempts to get the national executive of the NDC to bring them to order has so far failed,” Mr Ofori – Atta said.
He said in the second incident, the Okyenhene and members of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs went on a road inspection in order to draw the government’s attention to the deteriorating road situation in the region.
Again, he said, Mr Tawiah – Boateng, assisted by Mr Owiredu, held a press conference and poured unprintable words on the Okyenhene and other chiefs in the region.
What broke the camel’s back, according to Mr Ofori -Atta, was an incident during the Okyeman Congress held early this year. Osagyefuo Amoatia appealed to the government to appoint competent Akyems into state institutions and “again the two ran riot and verbally abused the Okyenhene.”
The Regional Minister, Mrs Mavis Ama Frimpong, is yet to study the contents of the decision for the next line of action.
… But NDC expresses surprise
But the Eastern Regional Executive Committee of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have expressed surprise by the decision of the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Payin II, and his traditional council to ban two of its regional officers, namely Messrs Bismark Tawiah Boateng and Haruna Apau Owiredu, from stepping foot in the Ofori Payin Palace.
It said the party found the decision unfortunate and vague, since no instance of such gross disrespect leading to the decision was given.
In a statement signed by the Regional Secretary, Mr. Mark-Oliver Kevor, the party said “it is worth mentioning that once the Akyem Abuakwahene or any other person makes any statement or expresses his opinion that obviously has political undertones, we in the NDC as a political party have our God-given right to respond appropriately in a respectful manner and that is exactly what we have always sought to do”.
The statement said the matter had become worth discussing because it was becoming too popular of the Akyem Abuakwahene.
In the first instance, the statement said, during the era of Mr Victor Smith as the Regional Minister, Osagyefo Ofori Payin II verbally told the former not to come to his palace with NDC party officers.
Second, the chief again was alleged to have cautioned Madam Helen Ntoso, also a former regional minister, not to also visit him with NDC faithful.
“The latest of this discriminately act is the letter written by the traditional council which was leaked to some private newspapers cautioning her not to come to the Ofori Payin Palace with the two regional executives. This, we find very discriminately, since other political parties have unrestricted access to the Abuakwahene and his palace. We find such a conduct “unfatherly” on the part of Osagyefo considering he is the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs.”
“This act of his is sending a very wrong signal to the other 10 paramount chiefs in the region that they could also discriminate as to which political party they should welcome and engage. This development is obviously not healthy for our democracy and co-existence”, said the statement.
According to the statement, the NDC as a political party in the Eastern Region respects the chieftaincy institution and has a very cordial relationship with all paramountcies, “a situation which has led to spurring monumental developments in the region and of which Osagyefo is a witness to”.
The party, therefore, called on the Okyenhene to rescind his decision and treat all subjects and political parties equally.
The statement gave an assurance that the NDC would continue to constructively embrace all shades of opinion in the region on matters of national development.