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Opinions of Thursday, 29 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Chairman Afoko’s Suspension is Rather Delicious!

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

It was extremely long in coming. And when it was finally handed down, like a bolt of lightning, the only people who seemed to be visibly stunned and shaken by this most apt decision to indefinitely suspend the National Chairman of the country’s largest political party, which also now happens to be the nation’s foremost opposition party, were those who had been fiercely resisting the move all along, even as they had not ceased to smirkingly thumb their noses at party operatives widely known to be staunchly in favor of an Akufo-Addo and a Bawumia presidency. It took inordinately long to arrive, but I strongly believe that this is characteristic of all forms of condign natural justice. This is what Americans call the deliberate but, nevertheless, swift and certain arm of justice. I hope to the high heavens that the “indefiniteness” of the suspension of Chairman Paul Afoko lasts through the 2016 general election season (See “Paul Afoko Suspended as NPP Chairman” / 10/23/15).

If it is true that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) voted unanimously to suspend Mr. Afoko, then, it goes without saying that the man must have committed such high crimes and misdemeanors as could no longer be countenanced by all and sundry. I know the most egregious of these professional and/or administrative misdeeds regards the unilateral decision of the NPP National Chairman to curiously call for a police investigation into the party’s finances, against the standing rules and articles enshrined in the Constitution of the New Patriotic Party. And this is also precisely where I have my own beefy cartilage to chew with Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong – not the subject of this article – who has responded to the indefinite suspension of his immediate boss by cynically insisting that the decision taken by the highest policymaking body of the party flagrantly violates the Constitution of the same.

Needless to say, no such argument, or counter-argument, could be more preposterous. Particularly, when General-Secretary Agyepong also asserts the immutable untouchability of the suspended party National Chairman, on the luridly disingenuous grounds that protocol, as per the party’s Constitution, was not followed, by which Mr. Agyepong means that any formal petition seeking the removal of his lock-step buddy, per force, ought to have been forwarded to the party’s General-Secretary who would then have transmitted the same to the NPP’s National Council of Elders (NCE). Well, those of us who have been studiously following the year-long career of Messrs. Agyepong and Afoko at party headquarters can readily fathom exactly how long it would have taken Mr. Agyepong to forward any grievance filed against Mr. Afoko to the C. K. Tedam-headed National Council of Elders.

But what is annoyingly silly here, though, is to hear General-Secretary Agyepong imperiously complain about Mr. Afoko’s having been summarily denied “natural justice,” merely because some members of the party’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) also double as members of the NPP’s National Executive Committee. In essence, what Mr. Agyepong is arguing here is that so fraught is the party’s DC with conflicts of interest that the suspension of Mr. Afoko could no more be aptly described as other than a juridical travesty. Well, to be certain, when I heard Mr. Agyepong cry foul over the purportedly abject denial of “natural justice” to Mr. Afoko, I immediately thought about the acid-slain Mr. Adams Mahama, whose indicted and arrested assassins are widely known to be closely associated with, you guessed right, Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong. We must also quickly point out that both men had conspicuously failed to attend the NEC meeting at which the decision to suspend the party’s National Chairman, although even as Mr. Agyepong has publicly stated, both men as ex-officio members of the NPP’s National Executive Committee, ought to have attended.

But even more significantly, we are also informed that this was not the very first time that the two men had flatly refused to attend a NEC meeting upon express invitation. Mr. Agyepong has impugned the right of Mr. Freddie Blay, the party’s First Vice-Chairman, and presently Acting National Chairman, to convene the NEC meeting which handed down the long-awaited suspension of Mr. Afoko. But even as Mr. Blay poignantly indicated, “natural justice” dictated that Mr. Afoko could not have been expected to convene a NEC meeting to preside over, supervise and/or refereed his own indefinite suspension.