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Politics of Monday, 7 April 2014

Source: The Publisher newspaper

Afoko fights NPP elders at NEC meeting

Paul Afoko, an aspirant of the position of National Chairman, last week Thursday, launched a foul-mouthed tirade against elders of the New Patriotic Party, describing them as persons who lack “credibility and integrity”.

In what was supposed to be a final meeting between the National Elections Committee (NEC) and all aspirants ahead of Saturday’s National Delegates Conference, Paul Afoko vented his spleen at what he believed was a ploy by the Chairman and members of the Committee to ensure his defeat on Saturday.

Sources at the headquarters of the biggest opposition party in Ghana told this paper that, last Thursday’s meeting was called by the Chairman of the committee, C.K Tedam, with the sole intention of ironing out and discussing issues pertaining to Saturday’s delegates conference.

When Chairman Tedam raised the issue of proxy voting, according to our source, Paul Afoko raised a point of order, admonishing the committee to be guided by two watchwords, which he stated were credibility and integrity.

As the discussions proceeded, Charles Owiredu, the NPP’s director of international relations, was called upon by the Chairman to brief the committee and aspirants on the status of the proxy votes.

According to Mr. Owiredu, the party had received a total of 177 applications for proxy voting, comprising of 137 applications from the party’s external branches and 40 applications from delegates in the country.

He further indicated that, upon careful scrutiny of the applications, the list had been pruned down from the initial 177 applications to 132 applications; as 107 out of the 137 applications from the external branches had been approved, with 25 out of the 40 applications from within the country also being approved.

After ending his submission on the issue of proxy voters, Paul Afoko, without any prompting from the Chairman, stood up and accused the elections committee of meddling in acts aimed at ensuring his defeat.

Pointing his index finger at C.K Tedam, Rev. Asante Antwi and Mr. Adjei Barwuah, who are all members of the Council of Elders of the party, Paul Afoko described the three gentlemen as being without “integrity and credibility," describing them further in unprintable language, to the surprise of many gathered, including aspirants aligned to him.

Paul Afoko, according to our source, was angry about the names presented from Japan and Kpandai, as according to his own checks, those persons did not exist, or at worse were creations by the elections committee.

Visibly upset at the unprovoked attacks on his person by Paul Afoko, The Rt. Rev. Asante Antwi immediately stood up and rebuffed the attacks by Paul Afoko. As an elder statesman of the party who had toiled and contributed his quota to making sure that the NPP was where it is now, the former Methodist head indicated to Paul Afoko that he was not, now, going to sully his hard won image by meddling in lists for proxy voting.

Rev. Asante Antwi made it explicitly clear to the gathering that he was not going to “sit down” for anyone to impugn his or the integrity of the other members of the committee through baseless allegations.

With the proceedings heated up, members and aspirants alike tried to calm down tempers.

“Paul Afoko’s actions shocked most of us. Is this the man who wants to become National Chairman of our great party? I don’t think so. He clearly lacks the temerity, candour and temperament needed to lead the New Patriotic Party,” a member who was present at the meeting told the paper.

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