…..…As He Hints At Political Hiatus
Controversial former General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has hinted that he is on a hiatus from frontline politics, even as his government staggers through a landmine of scandals and could use his voice to defend itself.
In a recent encounter with journalists at the Forestry Commission, where he is now Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Afriyie, popularly called Sir John, announced that he has found something more worthwhile to occupy his attention at the moment.
According to him, his new position as CEO of the Forestry Commission makes him a public servant and that he believes he has a responsibility to focus on developing the Commission.
He made the announcement after a meeting with rosewood producers in his office, indicating that his hiatus from mainstream politics is going to last some two years, after which he might bounce back.
This is very interesting of Sir John, a man who really loves to run his mouth in political discourse. However, his deafening silence in the political space speaks volumes of the personal decision that he has just made overture of.
Indeed, Sir John has been totally unheard of through his party’s scandal-prone first four months in office in which the Akufo-Addo regime has had to deploy every available voice to defend scandals, including the infamous Franklin Templeton dirty deal.
The regime has had to also clean after the Delta Force goon squad following their overthrow of court proceedings and even the Otiko- Naabu dirty revelations.
Sources tell The Republic that Sir John’s decision to stay on the fence and watch his own party dance to its own music might not be unconnected to recent shabby treatment that President Akufo-Addo had meted out to him.
The former party scribe had had to almost beg before Akufo-Addo would appoint him to the Forestry Commission job.
This apparently had come as a wicked stab in the back for Sir John because after Akufo-Addo had lost the 2012 elections and expectations were high that his political career would end, it was Sir John who had started a crusade to make Akufo-Addo the NPP’s flagbearer for the third straight time for the 2016 election.
Indeed, Sir John, who had worn his support for Akufo-Addo on his sleeve, had made it clear that a re-election that he was seeking into the General Secretary position in the party was going to be used to support the third Presidential bid of Akufo-Addo. However he had lost that election.
Even so, Sir John never relented on his support for Akufo-Addo, stating publicly that even if Akufo-Addo, who was deemed to be too old to run again at the time, were confined to a wheel chair, he would still be made the 2016 Flagbearer of the NPP.
Akufo-Addo was eventually made flagbearer and Sir John’s faith in him was justified at the 2016 polls with an almost landslide victory, only for Akufo-Addo to become President and prioritize the appointment of his family members and close friends into his government.
Eventually, the Chief Executive Officer for GPHA position that many had tipped Sir John for was given to someone else, with the former General Secretary eventually forced to come out to compare President Akufo-Addo to a vindictive Ashanti king before he was appointed as the CEO for the Forestry Commission.
As Sir John lives in his political hiatus though, The Republic has learnt that he may be eyeing the vacant General Secretary position of the NPP.
Following the controversial suspension of Kwabena Agyepong from that post, along with the National Chairman, Paul Afoko, the General Secretary position has been held by John Boadu, in an Acting capacity.
The Republic has learnt that John Boadu, who is also a Board Member of the Tema Oil Refinery, has fallen out of favour with President Akufo-Addo and the Akyem bloc of the NPP, leading to a situation where a replacement is being sought.
Interestingly, the same Akyem bloc of the party had used John Boadu against Kwabena Agyepong and Paul Afoko.
The NPP holds its National Delegate Conference between 25th and 27th August, this year at Cape Coast.