Suspended General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Agyepong would have to “appeal to” or “petition” the National Executive Committee of the party for his reinstatement if he so desires, Acting Chairman of the party, Freddie Blay, has advised.
Mr Blay’s counsel to Mr Agyepong follows the latter’s comment that his suspension has been “too long”.
Mr Agyepong told the media on Sunday, 17 December, on the sidelines of the party’s Extraordinary Delegates’ Conference in Kumasi that the national leadership of the NPP, must listen to those clamouring for his reinstatement.
Mr Agyepong was suspended indefinitely along with the party’s Chairman Paul Afoko and Second Vice Chair Sammy Crabbe for allegedly working against the interest of the NPP ahead of the 2016 general elections.
The National Executive Committee of the NPP acted based on findings of the party’s Disciplinary Committee and suspended the three on 10 December 2015.
The suspensions followed a petition brought against the three by some NPP members.
However, some groups within the party, including polling station executives in the Ashanti Region, insist Mr Agyepong deserves to be given back his mandate.
Addressing a press conference in Kumasi on Monday, October 16, Mr Tweneboah Kodua, convener for the polling station executives, appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, the National Executive Committee (NEC), the National Council of the party and former President John Agyekum Kufuor, to reconsider the suspension and call Mr Agyepong back.
“… So our humble appeal to the National Council of the party is to recall Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong back to his office,” he stated.
Speaking to Accra-based Joy News at the conference grounds, Mr Agyepong said the leadership of the party must give an ear to those pushing for his reinstatement.
He was asked: “There is also a strong push by some people in the party for your reinstatement, would you want the national leadership to listen to them to get you back your job?
“Of course”, Mr Agyepong answered, adding: “I think being on suspension for over two years is too long. I think our constitution doesn’t provide for that, it didn’t envisage the General Secretary of the party to be absent from his job for two years, it’s not there but I hope that good sense will prevail, I mean I’m happy with myself, I thank God for the heart that I have, I’m very content.”
Mr Agyepong said he misses being General Secretary of the party he loves.
“Of course I do, I mean I got a very emphatic mandate in Tamale, very big emphatic mandate in Tamale, and that’s why you see lots of people where I am, wherever I go, because the party grassroots, they recognise my long-standing dedication and service to this political tradition, and, so, I love it. Yes what happened in 2015, I’ve said to you because of my love for the party, I’ve been very silent, not that I agree with the decision of the national executive to suspend me, I never did but I respected that decision because I love the party and I believe that the party should be supreme, and I think in the collective interest of the bigger picture, I’m happy that God has granted us our wish, we are now in government, so, any true patriot of the NPP should be seeking to do their little to support the president and his government to achieve our aims, so that we can deliver the people of Ghana; that for me is the national interest, and if we allow the national interest to determine whatever we do, all these little little things that sometimes you see, will go into the background.”
In his view, a “constitution is a sacred document, I mean you touch it when there is a compelling need”.
On calls by his critics within the party for him to show remorse before being accepted back, Mr Agyepong said: “You apologise when you have done wrong and I want to be honest with you, nobody has proved any wrong.”
Commenting on Mr Agyepong’s latest remarks about his reinstatement, Mr Blay told Moro Awudu on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday, 18 December that: “Well, that’s what he is saying, I believe Kwabena knows what to do when you are suspended or when a suspension is handed to you and you are not happy with it. There’s a procedure you’ve got to adopt; you’ll either have to appeal or petition the relevant body, in this case to the NEC, and the NEC, which took the decision, will consider it favourably or not; you don’t allow other people to say: ‘Do this or do that’, you don’t let other people shout for you. If, indeed, you are aggrieved, then you go to the relevant authority or organisation, in this case the committee which took the decision, I don’t think you’ll have to take a press war or let people canvass or lobby for you on that aspect.”