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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Adams Mahama: Afoko And Agyepong Are Bottlenecks To 2016 Election Victory

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
May 15, 2015

Until I came across his editorially annotated press release captioned "U/E NPP Chairman Apologizes To Afoko, Agyapong [sic]" / 5/15/15), I had no idea who Mr. Adams Mahama was. Now, thankfully, I know who he is. He is the Upper-East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). And in his press release, Mr. Mahama does not have much to say that is either flattering or complimentary about the way in which NPP National Chairman Paul Afoko and General-Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong are handling the affairs of the party at both the party's national headquarters, in Accra, and in the regions.

He is not specifically using the following words, but it clearly appears that Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong came to party headquarters to run a Kyerematen Agenda on Akufo-Addo's watch. Well, one does not need the brain size of a nuclear scientist to aptly conclude that Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong's "Agenda 2020" will not work. We know what we are talking about because throughout the NPP presidential primaries, the present National Chairman and his General-Secretary were conspicuously in the ring-side corner of Mr. Kyerematen (aka Alan Cash). And here ought to be promptly added that the choice of which candidate to endorse or canvass for was the inalienable democratic right of these two men. But now, of course, the dust has settled in favor of Nana Akufo-Addo.

What the foregoing means is that Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong must be willing to put whatever differences they may have with the 2016 NPP Presidential Candidate and his supporters and sympathizers well behind them and vigorously and concertedly work for the collective good of the party and the nation at large. This is clearly what the party's Constitution stipulates, and this is precisely what the mandate of the National Chairman and his General-Secretary is incontrovertibly and immutably about.

If they find their constitutional mandate to be rather too burdensome then, by all means, Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong reserve the inalienable right to honorably tender their resignation letters to the NPP's National Executive Council, or whichever arm of the party is the highest decision-making body. Should they fail to do the preceding, knowing fully well that they find it either objectionable or impossible to work hand-in-glove with the Chief Candidate of the NPP, in the lead-up to Election 2016, then, of course, the party's leadership has no other alternative but to give the heave-ho to these two men.

Mr. Adams Mahama, the Upper-East Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, has offered ample evidence to anybody who cares about the good fortunes of the NPP to fully appreciate the fact that, so far, Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong have yet to make themselves administratively useful for the greater good and interests of the party. And Mr. Mahama must know what he is talking about; he is Chairman of the same Upper-East Region in which Mr. Afoko was born and raised. And he is telling anybody with the long-term interests of the party at heart that Mr. Afoko, as well as General-Secretary Agyepong, has been administratively divisive during the barely half-year that he has been in charge of the national affairs of the main opposition New Patriotic Party.

The following is part of the press release circulated by Mr. Adams Mahama: "I am appealing to the National Chairman and General-Secretary to stop this habit of sidelining elected officers they do not like. They must respect the structures of the party and work within the structures and hierarchy of the Party, including their colleagues at the Headquarters and the Regional Chairmen across the country. The more they seek to sideline those the party's Constitution says they must work with, the more suspicion and problems they fuel in the Party.

Well, it is increasingly becoming evident that Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong either lied through their teeth, literally speaking, or they created the problems that led to the recent NPP National Steering Committee's emergency meeting that was held in their absence, either deliberately or inadvertently. If it is true, as Mr. Adams Mahama is alleging, that the Party's National Chairman and his General-Secretary have created a rancorous atmosphere of division and distrust, then, really, both men have themselves to blame if in the end they are sent packing out of Party headquarters.

Mr. Mahama, that is, the NPP's Upper-East Regional Chairman, says that he was at the party's national headquarters just a couple of days before Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong embarked on a campaign tour of the Upper-East Region. Mr. Mahama also says that he had met and spoken to the two men at the Party's national headquarters. And yet, according to Mr. Mahama, both Mr. Afoko and his arch-lieutenant decided to embark on a campaign tour of his administrative jurisdiction without any prior notification, either formal or informal. If such patent slighting of one of their ten regional point-persons does not constitute the height of nihilistic arrogance, I simply don't what else it is. Mr. Mahama also alleges that the same administrative crudity, on the part of Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong, has been meted other regional chairpersons of the party.

And so why should any of us believe in Mr. Agyepong's Kumasi Fufuo-eating excuse for skipping the emergency meeting of the party's National Steering Committee a couple of weeks ago?