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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

A Coup D’What?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D,
Garden City, New York
Oct. 23, 2015

I personally admire Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey, although I have a great reservation about his perennial and gratuitous vendetta against Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a seemingly implacable vendetta largely based on Dr. Wereko-Brobbey’s inescapably and consanguineously tinted view of the role that the three-time New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate may have played in the seismic political infighting among the key operatives of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo ideological camp that led to the splitting up of the latter into the Victor Owusu-led Popular-Front Party (PFP) and the William “Paa Willie” Ofori-Atta-led United National Convention (UNC) in 1979.

Indeed, some have chalked this rift as having significantly contributed to the electoral success of President Hilla (Babini) Limann, the candidate for the Nkrumah-leaning People’s National Party (PNP). A very close observation of the temper of the times, however, clearly indicates that even if Messrs. Ofori-Atta and Owusu had amicably rallied behind a single and unified political organization, victory may very well have still eluded these patrician and urbane gentlemen. For 69-year-old Oxbridge-educated Mr. Ofori-Atta, the bane to surmount was mortality or life-expectancy rate in an impoverished Third-World country in which most men and women were not expected to live past their sixtieth birthday. And for Mr. Owusu, the bane was that of an unprepossessing public demeanor, a personality notorious for raw arrogance and hubris.

In a quite ironic sense, however, Nana Akufo-Addo has tended to be more likened to Mr. Owusu in political profile than his own maternal uncle, Mr. Ofori-Atta, and the man whose perceived 1979 political sins appear to have been downloaded onto the pate of his nephew by Mr. Owusu’s heirs and campers. The truth, it has been globally and perennially observed, often lies somewhere in-between. But that “in-between” is not the focus of our discourse today. Rather, it is about Dr. Wereko-Brobbey’s quite predictable characterization of the indefinite suspension of Mr. Paul Afoko, the New Patriotic Party’s national chairman, by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP. Dr. Wereko-Brobbey, who was himself suspended from the party a couple of years ago, has described Mr. Afoko’s virtual expulsion from the party as a “coup d’état.” And this is rather quaint, because any studious observer of the affairs of Ghana’s largest political party is fully aware that it was only a matter of time before Mr. Afoko railroaded himself.

Yes, rather than its being a coup d’état, as Tarzan – Dr. Wereko-Brobbey’s sobriquet – prefers to characterize it, I strongly find the description of “political self-strangulation” to be a more apt description of what happened to Chairman Afoko on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015. From what we officially know, Chairman Afoko had turned down at least four consecutive invitations to meet with the NPP-NEC in order to amicably and constructively hash out nettlesome administrative matters. Tarzan’s basis for describing Mr. Afoko’s ouster as a “putsch” is in view of the fact that the decision was reportedly effected in the absence of the party’s flagbearer, who is reported to have embarked on a tour of the United States. Consequently, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey is hoping that Nana Akufo-Addo was not in the know about the Afoko Affair and would do everything within his power and influence to promptly reverse the same upon his return.

Needless to say, it would be a great mistake for any party stalwart, least of all, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey, to think or suppose that Nana Akufo-Addo is invested with greater powers and/or influence than the combined powers and influence of the members of the highest organs of the party, namely, the National Council of Elders (NCE) and the National Executive Committee (NEC). Indeed, it is precisely because the NPP’s Constitution is atrociously and gapingly silent on the administrative powers of the flagbearer that has enabled overt Akufo-Addo detractors like Messrs. Wereko-Brobbey, Nyaho-Tamakloe and the Idiot-of-Irmo, South Carolina, to cavalierly presume to abuse and malign Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice with such impunity and reckless abandon.

Indeed, whether Nana Akufo-Addo was in the know about the NPP-NEC’s decision to indefinitely suspend Mr. Afoko or not is decidedly beside the point. What matters more than anything else regards the fact of whether in boldly and radically deciding to accord Mr. Afoko the heave-ho, both the party’s National Executive Committee and its disciplinary arm acted in the long-term interest of the New Patriotic Party and its members, supporters and sympathizers. The mere fact that Mr. Afoko, like most of the NPP staff at the party’s Asylum Down headquarters, was elected ought not to be deemed as the most important issue here. What really matters is whether the decision by the NPP-NEC to discipline or punish Chairman Afoko was squarely and fairly predicated on constitutional legality and ethics.