The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Afoko, has stated clearly that he would not support any idea that will sideline party structures in favour of any other approach in the running of the affairs of the party, including the 2016 presidential and parliamentary campaign.
If the flagbearer should heed to such wrong calls, what it means is that polling station/constituency/regional/national executives will not be involved in the campaign for 2016, he said in a rejoinder to The Chronicle.
In its Tuesday, July 21 edition, The Chronicle carried a front page banner story where Mr. Ayisi Boateng, a founding member of the NPP advised the flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, not to trust Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong and that he (Nana) should set up his own campaign team independent from that of the party hierarchy.
Paul Afoko is, however, warning that similar decision taken in 2008 and 2012 contributed to the defeat of the party and that it must not be repeated in 2016.
“That, Mr. Ayisi-Boateng has left readers of the story and those who listened to him on radio in no doubt that he wants parallel party structures to be used in the campaign for the 2016 general elections, just like many believe happened in 2008 and 2012 general elections which contributed to a large extent, the party’s defeat in those elections.
“We want party executives at all levels to take note of this agenda being pushed on the flagbearer by persons like Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng,” he noted in the rejoinder signed on his behalf by Nana Yaw Osei, his spokesperson.
The following is the full rejoinder which has been published unedited.
The attention of the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been drawn to a front page story published in the Tuesday, July 21, 2015 edition of “The Chronicle” newspaper at page 3.
In the said story, Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng of Kumasi, a very senior member of the NPP, was reported as having advised or told the flagbearer of the NPP not to trust Mr. Paul Afoko and Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, National Chairman and General Secretary respectively, of the NPP.
The said story which does not only contain factual inaccuracies, but also contain complete falsehood in my view, should not have merited a publication in an esteemed newspaper like ‘The Chronicle’ at all.
Well, I respond to the factual inaccuracies, deliberate fabrications and falsehood as follows:-
That after reading the whole story, Mr. Ayisi Boateng was supposed to be talking to the flagbearer of our party, Nana Addo Darkwa Akufo-Addo, urging him to disregard party structures in the execution of his presidential campaign for 2016.
One would have thought that as someone allegedly very close to the flagbearer and more importantly a senior party member, he would not resort to the media with a piece of information meant for the flagbearer alone.
I know for a fact that Mr. Ayisi Boateng has, in the past, sought to discourage other party members and/or sympathizers from resorting to the use of the media to discuss internal party issues. The question is what has changed this time for him to resort to the media with such advice meant for the ears of our flagbearer in the media? What has changed for him to falsely accuse these two gentlemen of our party in the media? Some call it double standards!
That Mr. Ayisi-Boateng has left readers of the story and those who listened to him on radio in no doubt that he wants parallel party structures to be used in the campaign for the 2016 general elections, just like many believe happened in 2008 and 2012 general elections which contributed to, a large extent, the party’s defeat in those elections. We want party executives at all levels to take note of this agenda being pushed on the flagbearer by persons like Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng.
The National Chairman, Mr. Paul Afoko, does not support any idea that will sideline party structures in favour of any other approach in the running of the affairs of the party, including the 2016 presidential and parliamentary campaign. If the flagbearer should heed such wrong calls, what it means is that polling station/constituency/regional/national executives will not be involved in the campaign for 2016.
Mr. Ayisi-Boateng demonstrated his dislike (or is it hatred?) for Mr. Afoko, in particular, when he said, “the national leadership of the party, more especially Mr. Kwabena Agyapong, General Secretary and Paul Afoko, National chairman can’t be trusted to lead the affairs of the party, moving forward.”
The question is, since when did it become the sole responsibility of the party chairman and the General Secretary to lead the affairs of our party? Respectfully, nowhere in our party’s constitution is it stated the National chairman and the General Secretary are the persons to lead the affairs of the party. I challenge Mr. Ayisi-Boateng to point out any such provision to the world.
It is common knowledge that in the constitution of our party, each officer’s role is clearly outlined. Each of these elected officers, namely the National Chairman, National Vice Chairmen, General Secretary, National Organizer, National Women Organiser, National Youth Organizer and Nasara Co-ordinator has a role to play. It is when each is allowed to perform his/her role that the party gets the results!
Is Mr. Ayisi-Boateng telling the world that these other elected officers, including our flagbearer, have no role whatsoever in leading the affairs of our party?
The mischief in Mr. Ayisi Boateng’s comments published in “The Chronicle” newspaper and which he sought to defend and/or explain on a number of radio stations including Okay FM, and Adom FM/Nhyira FM, is exposed when he said, “in his view, the two are yet to demonstrate enough commitment and zeal needed to propel the NPP to victory, hence the need for the flagbearer to look elsewhere if the party can recapture power.’’
Since when did Mr. Ayisi-Boateng become the barometer for measuring the levels of commitment and zeal of National chairmen and General Secretary of our party to be able to determine whether or not Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong have not demonstrated enough zeal and commitment to propel the party to victory? So now, it is only Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong who can propel the party to victory?
For him, the flagbearer and other office holders have no roles to play to propel the NPP to victory? This is the wrong impression some of his ilk have bandied about in the media and in some party circles which has, unfortunately, found space in the minds of unsuspecting members of the public especially our party members.
For your information, Mr. Paul Afoko believes that each and every member of our party at all levels, including more importantly, the polling station executives have very important roles to play if the NPP is to win power in 2016, provided parallel party structures are not encouraged and used, and the party structures are properly resourced.
Mr. Ayisi-Boateng also veered into last Thursday, July 16, 2015 Steering Committee meeting, which was not attended by some members of that Committee. Again, the mischief was very clear by the use of the expression, “lots of the members.’’
To try and paint the picture that the National Chairman is not in control, he must create that impression to support his baseless assertion.
The meeting was properly called and those who attended were National Chairman, Paul Afoko, General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, Chairman of National Council of Elders, C.K. Tedam, National Women Organizer, Otiko Djaba, 3rd Vice Chairman, F.F. Anto.
It is instructive to note that Mr. F.F. Anto travelled all the way from Kumasi to Accra just to attend that meeting! So if some in Accra decided not to attend, they know why they did not attend.
When Mr. Ayisi-Boateng says that ‘‘lots of people’’ did not attend, what did he want to mean when the entire membership of the Steering Committee of the NPP is about eleven (11)!
When Mr. Ayisi-Boateng says the National Chairman and the General Secretary of our party have been given enough benefit of the doubt, I strongly disagree.
On the contrary, what we know as a fact is that those members of our party who did not support the candidature of Mr. Afoko for the National chairmanship position and campaigned vigorously against him have still not accepted the fact that he was the duly elected National chairman of our party!
To date, such persons have sought through their actions and inactions to frustrate him and prevent him from performing his duties as the national chairman. The man has known no peace since the Tamale Conference of our party. Some even think that, the very day he decided to contest the national chairmanship position he has known no peace!
So for those of us who know, when persons like Mr. Ayisi-Boateng speak in the manner he did in “The Chronicle” newspaper and repeated same on some radio stations, we are not in the least surprised.
Let me state here that I do not have the General Secretary’s permission to speak for him on matters that concern him alone, but as party member who has some information on the goings-on in the party, I say that if Mr. Ayisi-Boateng blames Mr. Agyepong for outstanding parliamentary primaries nationwide, then I think there could be more to it than meet the eye.
Mr. Ayisi-Boateng knows some of the problems in some of the constituencies and others too he does not know, and so for him to blame Mr. Agyepong the way he did was unfair, to say the least.
It looks like any party member has to turn to the National Chairman and the General Secretary to vent their anger on them even if they have problems with their wives. This attitude must stop!
In the face of the impediments being put in the way of the National chairman, he still has a clear conscience and committed to working with all in the party to ensure that the NPP comes to power in January 2017!
Nana Yaw Osei
Spokesperson for Mr. Paul Afoko
NPP National Chairman