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Politics of Friday, 22 May 2015

Source: The Republic

Dark forces strike NPP; as Akufo-Addo suspends tour

The simmering in-fighting within the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has escalated into a full-blown bloodbath as party members believed to be loyalists of the Party’s National Chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong have retaliated an assault on the two, resulting in the cold-blooded murder of the party’s Upper East Regional Chairman, Adam Mahama on Thursday.

Latif Solomon, a member of the NPP Communications team in the Upper East Region identified one of the suspects arrested by the Police after the dastardly act as a certain ‘Gregory’, a direct brother of the NPP National Chairman-Paul Afoko.

The suspects are said to have ambushed Mr. Mahama shortly after he exited an NPP meeting in Bolgatanga in the early hours of Thursday. They promptly doused him with a bucketful of an acerbic substance believed to be Acid that instantly melted his skin and vital organs. According to Police sources in the region who spoke to the Republic Newspaper in the Upper East region, the suspects were identified by the deceased Adam Mahama before giving up the ghost.  A second unidentified culprit is said to be on the run as police mount an intense manhunt.

The suspects are said to be aligned towards the famous ex-President Kuffour/ Alan Kyeremanteng rival camp in the NPP which Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong have been linked to.

Adam Mahama whose extensive burns from the acid attack succumbed to death at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, was reported last week to have been responsible for organizing a band or armed thugs to mount a violent assault on Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong.

According to widespread reports, Adam Mahama, believed to be sympathetic towards the camp of the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo, was not exactly happy last week when Paul Afoko led some NPP executives (believed to be associated with the Kufour/Alan camp) to the Upper East Region without inviting him to be part of the meeting.

His alleged hired thugs attempted to lynch the visiting party executives. It took the timely intervention of the police to avert a potential bloodbath.

The shocking development in the NPP has forced its flagbearer to cut short an initially planned 16-day tour of Europe to return to Ghana. “ I am cutting short my trip to Europe and come back home to join with everybody in the party and in the country to say goodbye to our fallen colleague,” Akufo Addo stated on Thursday.

“I have just been informed about this tragic development that has taken place…It is a very sad day for all of us in the NPP. All my fellow members in the NPP, it is a time for us to stay calm and be in solidarity with each other. We don’t want anybody taking the law into their own hands…the matter is in the hands of the Police…it is a sad moment for our party,” he said.

However, critics are uncertain whether his presence would douse the tension that has peaked in the main opposition party, given the fact that he himself has been fingered for causing the divisiveness in the party. In the build up to the violent escalations in the NPP, Akufo Addo had consistently and conspicuously refused to make issue public condemnation of members of the party that had made vitriolic statements aimed at at whipping up violent sentiments.

Indeed, Akufo Addo is accused of victimizing people within the NPP believed to be opposed to his leadership. There are reports of his thugs assaulting dissenters.

Recently, the Republic newspaper picked up reports that he had hired a private investigator to trail people he deemed opposed to him, including Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong whom he is reported to hold an extreme mistrust for.

“ The NPP is shocked and saddened by the acid attack against our Upper East Regional Chairman, Mr. Mahama Adams which took place yesternight in Bolgatanga, and has led to his sudden demise,” read a quick statement issued by the party and signed by Kwabena Agyapong on Thursday when the news of Adam Mahama’s death broke.

“ We unreservedly condemn this criminal act. We expect that the Police Service will act swiftly in bringing the perpetrators of this heinous crime to face the full wrath of the law. We call on our party faithfuls to remain calm in this sad moment of ours and trust the security agencies to give us justice.”

“This is a political affairs, politically motivated attack,” an eyewitness told the Republic in a telephone interview. “... this is a very bad news. Chairman was stopped by some people in front of his house last night when he was driving in. He thought, as usual they were political supporters so he wanted to give them attention only to be bathed with acid”, an eyewitness told the Republic newspaper in Bolgatanga-the capital town of the Upper East Region.

Medical sources in Bolgatanga Regional Hospital told the Republic that the acid attack on Mr. Mahama was dreadful and needing specialized equipments and surgeons to handle it. However, the regional hospital lacked the necessary equipment to save Mr. Mahama’s life, hence the decision to rush him to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital several hundreds of kilometers away in Accra.

It was not clear how Mr. Mahama was transported to Accra, but the witnesses in the regional hospital suspected the acid might have caused extensive damages to his systems because of the delays in arriving Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra-“the distance is too far and could be a contributory factor to his death” a witness added.

Instances of violent attacks on rivals within the NPP have recently become commonplace. Barely two weeks ago, Micheal Ampong, a former Acting Communications Director of the NPP and currently the Greater Accra Regional Director of the party who is believed to be opposed to the Akufo Addo camp, narrated his ordeal with a group of armed thugs apparently hired to kill him.

In an exclusive interview with the Republic Newspaper, Micheal Ampong stated that his life is in danger after he was curiously attacked by some unknown gunmen shortly after he publicly scolded the First Vice Chairman of the party, Freddie Blay for doing the bidding of Akuffo Addo in subverting the authority of the party Chairman and General Secretary, Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyei Agyapong respectively.

According to him, on the day of the incident, around 10pm, shortly after he had openly lambasted Freddie Blay for his attempts to usurp the powers of Mr. Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong, he said he was ambushed by a group of fully armed men who were obviously attempting to murder him. It took the timely intervention of passers-by to save him, he said.

Meanwhile, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has condemned the bloodbath in the NPP, describing the incident as “barbaric and cowardly murder which represents a major setback for our democracy.”

“ We condemn in the strongest possible terms this barbaric and cowardly murder, which represents a major setback for our democracy. We urge the Ghana Police Service to intensify investigations into this heinous crime with a view to bringing the criminals behind this attack to book. We urge the Police not to treat this matter as an internal party matter, but a matter that has serious national security implications,” read a statement issued on Thursday by the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

“ We also call on the leadership of the New Patriotic Party to take urgent steps to quell the growing level of violence and lawlessness that has characterized the activities of the party which has no doubt resulted in this needless loss of life. These acts of violence and lawlessness are casting an undeserved slur on our reputation as a peaceful and democratic country,” the NDC General Secretary popularly called General Mosquito, stated.