…As Ashantis fight for reinstatement of Kwabena Agyepong, leaving Afoko, Crabbe in the cold
When the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) suspended its National Chairman, Paul Afoko, in October 2015, the caveat was that he was to temporarily cease acting in that position until after the 2016 elections.
Two months later, when the party’s General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, was also suspended, along with second National Vice Chairman, Sammy Crabbe, the party had said that those suspensions were indefinite.
Some two years down the line, however, there is clamor for the reinstatement of Kwabena Agyepong, while nobody is giving a toss about Paul Afoko, who is seen to have suffered a palace coup by his Vice at the time, Freddy Blay.
The snaky Blay who, according to the Africa Watch Magazine, similarly impersonated former President Mahama to subsume a job interview meant for Mahama in the UK, has since become Acting National Chairman.
As some members of the NPP clamor for the reinstatement of the indefinitely suspended Kwabena Agyepong, to the neglect of the temporarily suspended Paul Afoko, a strong Ashanti sentiment has punctuated the campaign.
Party activists who are clamoring for the reinstatement of Mr. Agyepong are mainly from the Ashanti Region, with a few other voices from the Brong Ahafo Region.
As an Ashanti, Kwabena Agyepong has been touted as a son of Asanteman who had served faithfully as Press Secretary for former President Kufuor, the first Ashanti President of the 4th Republic.
With the Ashanti Regional activists campaigning for the reinstatement of Kwabena Agyepong following up press conferences in Kumasi with latest ones in Accra, a spillover of the campaign on to social media has seen Kwabena Agyepong being touted as an Ashanti who is being demonized by the Akyem President, Akufo-Addo.
Barima Yaw Asante of New Edubiase, one of the voices crying tribal persecution against Agyepong, yesterday posted that the Ashantis were keenly watching and taking note of what is being done to Kwabena Agyepong.
“ I remember going into Tamale 2014 to elect National Officers, Chairman Wontumi called us in the early hours to not vote for Kwabena Agyepong and Paul Afoko as they’re not in the good books of then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.
“We resisted and voted for our fellow Ashanti Man.
“The officers we voted for never saw peace at the party office. Accusations and attacks from within masked their administration. They were suspended and we were told was for the greater good of winning election 2016.
“Why are some leaders refusing to respect our votes in Tamale and still wanting to suspend Kwabena and co?
“…We are watching keenly. Ashantis are watching very keenly.”
With Barima Yaw Asante only adlibbing the clamor of other Ashantis, the clear picture is that Ashantis are fighting for their Kwabena Agyepong to be reinstated by the NPP. The plight of Paul Afoko is, in this way, contrasted out clearly – NPP’s first ever Chairman of Northern extraction, seems not to be a concern because Afoko is not an Ashanti.
Mr. Afoko, who had been duly elected Chairman by delegates of the NPP in Tamale in April 2014, had been suspended by the National Executives Committee of the ruling party in October 2015 over accusations that Paul Afoko had discussed party finances in public.
What Mr. Afoko had done at the time, was a protestation of the use of the party by current Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to collect loans for himself. In the shady details Ofori-Atta is said to have even forged signature of former party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, to get the loan.
The National Executive Committee that had suspended Afoko was seen to be illegal as it was convened by Mr. Afoko’s Deputy at the time, Freddy Blay, who has since become Acting National Chairman.
Even so, the Committee had said that the suspension was to hold until the completion of the 2016 election, which has since been almost one year old in history after President Akufo-Addo was elected in that watershed year.
Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, who was the General Secretary of the party at the time, had protested the suspension of Paul Afoko and earned an indefinite suspension himself after denouncing it as an illegality.
Almost two years down the line, Ashantis are clamoring for the reinstatement of Kwabena Agyepong, while Paul Afoko has been ignored.
Officially, those clamoring for the reinstatement of Kwabena Agyepong justify their call by saying the former General Secretary has comported himself and lived by all the dictates of his suspension.
They even reference the fact that he had graced the August National Delegates conference of the NPP in Cape Coast.
But on social media, his suspension is denounced as a shabby treatment of an Ashanti man.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Fiifi Samuels