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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Columnist: Suayam, Simon

RE-Afoko must fight suspension in court

Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy as I once noted does not miss any opportunity presented him to badmouth the NPP and its leadership, especially the flagbearer. In occasions where the opportunities to denigrate the party he professes membership of and its flagbearer are nonexistent, he creates them. Most often, he creates storms in tea-cups.
The suspended national chairman of NPP, Mr. Paul Afoko has been advised by the ‘omniscient’ medical doctor in NPP to fight his suspension in court. Whilst this is not news to me, I’m baffled at the attempt to manufacture his own set of facts or truths from what we all know. Once again, Arthur Kennedy in his usual destructive best has already conceded NPP’s defeat in the 2016 elections to the NDC even before they go to battle it out. In Arthur Kennedy’s article, I came across a few contradictions, twisted facts, logical inconsistencies etc. I want to use this opportunity to point some of them out to him.
1. Dr. Arthur Kennedy has always maintained that the NPP had no business in the Supreme Court after failing to police the polling stations and allowed themselves to be cheated by the EC and the NDC. He has consistently reiterated the chorus of NDC that ‘elections are won at the polling stations’ and not in court. I’m bemused and perplexed that Arthur Kennedy will advise Mr. Afoko to go to court for redress when he saw everything wrong with NPP’s resort to go to court after the robbery of an election in 2012. As a bigwig, leading member, party stalwart etc, I’d have thought that Dr. Arthur Kennedy will advise any aggrieved party member to exhaust internal grievances procedures before resorting to court in order to protect the image of the party. Upon a second thought, I can understand the confusion in Arthur Kennedy’s mind. How can he advise anyone to follow party procedures when he has never for once also followed those procedures to address his grievances? Assuming without admitting that the wrong procedures were used to suspend Mr Afoko, is Dr Arthur Kennedy telling us that two wrongs can make a right in this case? How can the chief custodian of the party’s constitution blatantly sidestep it if indeed he means well for the party he is leading? In any case, if as Chairman of NPP he allows the party to disintegrate to the extent that he is suspended, what moral right has he got to also resort to the law courts for redress? He as chairman had a duty to unite the party and project a good image of it. If he failed to do that like the polling agents of NPP, on what basis is he heading to court?
2. Arthur Kennedy has always maintained that NPP will lose the 2016 elections, so when he claims in his article that the NPP has “snatched defeat out of the jaw of victory in the 2016 election by suspending indefinitely, its first-ever elected Chairman to hail from the north”, I get confuse. Which victory is he talking about? Doc, please be consistent because you’ve never said or written any positive thing about the NPP. You have always painted a gloomy picture of NPP’s chances and this defeat snatching from the jaws of victory is all part of your wet-blanket predictions. However, I want to assure you that most of us see Afoko’s suspension as NPP snatching victory from the claws of defeat. Unfortunately for you, we are the majority even though our voices are not as loud as yours because we don’t have PhD’s or even degrees.
3. As a medical doctor resident in the USA, I’d have wished that instead of fanning tribalism, regionalism and ethnicity, Dr. Arthur Kennedy would have championed the crusade against these vices because of the tendency they have to disintegrate the foundation of not only our party but the nation at large. But the good doc has resorted to inflaming regional emotions to achieve his goals and damning the consequences. As a northerner in the elephant fraternity, I don’t feel alienated or discriminated against and I am equally not above the laws of my party just because I’m a northerner. Enough of the negative over-pampering! We as northerners do not hold anything against the NPP and we do not also regard it as a party that is “inhospitable to non-Akans”. There are hundreds of thousands of northerners in NPP. Why are they not all suspended but only Mr. Afoko is? Maybe you are not aware that Mr. Tedam is also a northerner and heads the Council of Elders of the party. It amazes me sometimes the kind of power or knowledge you think you possess. How dare you call my distinguished grandfather, Mr Sulemana Yiremiah and the other petitioner as tokens and puppets? You even have the audacity to label their petitions as ‘bogus’ even though with all your wisdom you could not put an intelligent petition to the Council of Elders or the Displinary Committee about your misgivings in the party for them to consider. I am likely to believe that your so-called “inhospitable to non-Akans” tag if you continue in this your destructive tangent and you are not called to face the Disciplinary Committee or even suspended.
4. According to Dr. Arthur Kennedy, “every true NPP man or woman must stand against the wrong removal of Mr. Afoko not, because he made no mistakes, but because that is not how the followers of Danquah, Busia and Dombo behave”. I find this statement as not only contradictory but also a subtle admission that after all, Mr. Afoko is fallible just like the rest of us. Dr. Arthur Kennedy has taken an oath to defend Mr. Afoko till death because he is the angel in the presence of humans. Since the inception of this brouhaha, Dr. Kennedy has never for once seen anything wrong about the actions or inactions of Mr. Afoko, his acolytes and lackeys. He’s always quick to condemn all allegations of wrongdoing against him even when clearly there are evidences that he erred. If Dr Kennedy actually meant well for this party, he’d have taken a neutral stance and could have also done Afoko a favour by pointing out his shortcomings to him like he has been doing for Nana Addo. However, he made Mr Afoko look like he cannot make a mistake and thereby infallible. This probably gave Mr. Afoko the urge to continue with his “good works” without recourse to the party structures. Certainly, I equally urge all members of the Danquah, Busia and Dombo tradition to unite behind our party leadership and close our ranks and let the party structures deal with the current problems. That is how we must all behave as adherents of the tradition of Danquah, Busia and Dombo.
5. It baffles Dr Arthur Kennedy why Nana Addo should lead the NPP after losing two elections. My answer to him is that we the followers of NPP have faith and total confidence in his abilities to manage the affairs of this country better than it is currently being managed. We had other options in Mr Alan Kyeremanten (a fine gentleman), Hon. Joe Ghartey etc but we weighed our options and still believed that Nana Addo is the man we need. He is the man who can give us victory; and whose government will relieve Ghanaians of a lot of their pains and sufferings. Nana Addo has even shown NPP more faith and loyalty and our loyalty to him is not one that is bought but is quid pro quo. Whoever claims to be NPP and after our presidential primary does not share in our collective interest to work for NPP’s victory in 2016 is not with us and most be treated as an enemy combatant as well.
6. Dr Arthur Kennedy once more resorted to trivialities by trying to impugn that Mr Afoko was suspended because of his brother’s alleged involvement in the murder of Mr Adams Mahama (may God have mercy on his soul). The petitioners gave a myriad of reasons but Dr Arthur Kennedy in his mischievous best cites that as the only reason accounting for the suspension of Mr Afoko and to that end, he rhetorically asks “if we can sanction a man because of his brother’s potential involvement in a murder, shall we not remove others from office/candidacies because their relatives have been implicated in drugs? My answer is that yes we must because the Rubygate scandal is actually fresh in our minds. I’m therefore calling on Dr. Arthur Kennedy to join hands to remove the NDC government which was not only complicit in the Ruby Ametefe scandal, but has also brought a lot of untold hardships to Ghanaians.
I will like to take this opportunity to call on the rank and file of NPP to remain calm whiles our leadership take steps to calm tempers and restore sanity in the party. I’m not against Mr Afoko and should he be restored today as a chairman willing to help Nana Addo and the rest of the party assiduously working towards victory, I’ll dance to that. But for now, I think we must all respect NEC’s decision. God bless us all.
Author: Simon Suayam
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