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Opinions of Monday, 12 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Kwabena Agyepong Can Become a Party Mascot

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Oct. 9, 2015

I have said this before and hereby repeat the same, that if party stalwarts do not work assiduously around the clock to ensure victory for the Akufo-Addo- and Bawumia-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Election 2016, the NPP, as we presently know it, would effectively be rendered hors de combat. I, personally, may decide to back a third party, although as of this writing, I have yet to see any viable potential third party worthy of my ideological commitment and support. As for this bunk about something called Agenda 2020, those hallucinating wishful speculators had better sober up and realize the tired old maxim that “Time-and-tide waits for no man.” I am, of course, using the noun “man” in the generic sense, its patently patriarchal and inescapably chauvinistic connotation notwithstanding.

The Agyepong-Afoko Conundrum is one that ought to be promptly resolved, or there will be hell to pay, as New Yorkers are wont to say, on both sides of the running political slugfest inside the party. In the latest of such pesky wrangling, Mr. Kwabena Tahir Hammond has bitterly accused the party’s General-Secretary, Mr. Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, of trying to illegally buck laid-down protocol. The Adansi-Asokwa Member of Parliament alleges that Mr. Agyepong is insisting on a disqualified candidate’s being allowed to participate in the party’s upcoming parliamentary primary. Maybe somebody on the home court needs to fill me in on this, but I thought the NPP parliamentary primaries were long over and done with. At any rate, what is important to talk about here is the reason for the alleged insistence by Mr. Agyepong that a disqualified candidate be permitted to contest in a parliamentary primary. What, for instance, is the basis upon which the unnamed disqualified candidate was disqualified? And, also, whether such disqualification, as is being alleged by Mr. Hammond, was legitimately effected according to laid-down party protocol. And if it was, did Mr. Agyepong at any time, while the process of disqualification was ongoing, raise any voice of protest against the same?

In other words, if Mr. Agyepong is deemed to be clearly acting outside the bounds of his administrative terms of reference, then, by all means, the National Executive Council of the NPP, or whoever is constitutionally so empowered, has to call the General-Secretary to order, and promptly so, before the greater concerns and affairs of the party tumble precipitously beyond repair. I must also point out that this is not the very first or second time that we are hearing of Mr. Agyepong’s taking of decisions deemed to be clearly beyond legitimately laid down party protocol. Nevertheless, it ought to be significantly pointed out, Mr. Agyepong may not necessarily be and cannot be necessarily perceived as a jinx to the fortunes of the NPP, even as the party fervidly heads into battle for the electoral mandate and confidence of the Ghanaian people late next year.

Rather, Mr. Agyepong could well be made a fetching mascot for his party; and this can easily be done by the relevant party movers and shakers promptly stepping in and taking charge of their constitutionally mandated terms of reference. It may pertinently be recalled that recently Mr. Agyepong spiritedly announced to a gathering of party executives and stalwarts that he was presently on the best of working terms and relationship with Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP’s presidential candidate for Election 2016. I take this to imply that Mr. Agyepong is willing to work with all progressive elements and forces within the party to guarantee a one-touch victory for the NPP in Election 2016.

If the preceding observations have validity, then Mr. Hammond may likely have grossly misdirected his conniption when the Adansi-Asokwa MP decided to draw the media into the fray. Instead, Mr. Hammond ought to be working with party leaders to ensure the desired results. Intemperately maligning Mr. Agyepong in public could only make matters worse, not better.