Moves by the regional executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to marshall support for the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko, and the General Secretary, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, appear to have suffered a setback.
After almost all the emergency crunch meetings had been held across the country Monday, some of the executives said it was premature to take such a decision, which was likely to deepen the division in the party.
Those against the attempt to remove the two have suggested dialogue to build consensus to overcome the recent challenges in the party.
Nonetheless, those pushing the agenda for the removal of the two leaders said until the two were removed; the party was likely to remain a divided house.
The mixed reactions from the crunch meetings appear to have rather deepened the divisions and power struggle in the party, instead of ironing out the differences.
From the Ashanti Region, Donald Ato Dapatem reports that an Ashanti Regional Electoral College meeting called to iron out the differences within the party and chart the way forward, especially regarding the death of the party’s Upper East Regional Chairman, ended inconclusively.
That, according to sources, was because some of the people at the meeting, made up of regional executives, founder members and Members of Parliament (MPs), wanted a vote to be taken on the fate of Mr Afoko and Mr Agyepong, while others believed the members should be given time to ponder over the move.
A third group was of the strong opinion that what had occurred was purely a criminal matter and that the party should allow the law to take its course before any action could be taken.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic immediately after the meeting, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Samuel Payne, called for cool heads to prevail because what had occurred had the propensity to affect the bright chances of the NPP in the 2016 elections.
He said those calling for the removal of the two should bear in mind that there were laid down procedures to follow.
He appealed to the members of the party to remain calm and united and be circumspect in their utterances.
Just after the meeting, the members formed clusters and openly discussed what had transpired.
Just when most of them had left the Georgia Hotel meeting venue, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, the Chief of Staff in the Kufuor Administration, accompanied by some aides, came around and after speaking to a few people, left the scene.
From Tamale in the Northern Region, Samuel Duodu reports that the regional and constituency executives of the party will meet today.
Sources close to the regional secretariat of the party in Tamale, which disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, said earlier some forms had been sent from Accra to the region to collect the signatures of regional and constituency executives for the impeachment of the two national officers but it did not succeed.
According to the sources, the rank and file of the party in the region were divided on the issue as to whether to impeach the two national officers or wait for investigations into Alhaji Adams Mahama’s death to be concluded before the vote of no confidence was passed.
In the Greater Accra Region, Abdul Aziz reports that the regional meeting was expected to take place late yesterday.
Disclosing this to the Daily Graphic, Mr Ishmael Ashittey, the Regional Chairman, said the meeting was to plan the way forward for the party.
He disclosed that they could use the meeting to discuss the leadership crisis.
All party activities in the Upper East Region have been put on hold, reports Vincent Amenuveve.
That is in line with the one-week mourning of the late Alhaji Mahama, the Financial Secretary of the party, Mr Anthony Namoo, told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
According to him, officially the party had not been informed of any emergency meeting to deliberate on whether or not to pass a vote of no confidence in the national chairman and the general secretary.
He further observed that if anything at all, such matters would be discussed at the national level, stressing: “For now we are in a state of mourning.”
Michael Quaye reports that after a three-hour meeting, the Upper West Regional executives of the NPP called for the closing of their ranks to rally behind the national executive to prosecute the campaign for power in 2016.
The Regional Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Abdul-Rahman, told the Daily Graphic after the meeting, “We want to state our support for the national executive and the leadership of the party, not least the flag bearer and his running mate, in the next elections.”
For his part, Mr Hafiz Bin-Salih, the Regional Secretary, who doubles as the Regional First Vice-Chairman, said contrary to expectations, the meeting discussed events surrounding Alhaji Mahama’s death and how to rally the party faithful to remain committed to a common cause.
“We did not discuss the passing of a vote of no confidence in the National Chairman or the General Secretary,” he said.
From Sunyani, Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah reports that the Brong Ahafo Regional Executive Committee of the party voted in favour of the retention of the party’s National Chairman and General Secretary in office.
At a crunch emergency meeting held at the Regent Resort at Abesim, near Sunyani, 20 members of the committee voted against the agitation for the two officers to step down, following Alhaji Mahama’s death, while 17 voted in favour of the motion that they should step down.
After a four-hour, closed-door meeting, the Regional Chairman of the party, Mr Asomah Kyeremeh, told the Daily Graphic that members dispassionately debated the issue before taking the decision through voting.
He would, however, not go further than disclose the results of the balloting when the Daily Graphic wanted to know more about how the meeting was held.
“It was 20-17 in favour of the retention of Mr Afoko and Mr Agyapong,” he stated, explaining that the meeting also debated the issues leading to Alhaji Mahama’s death.
Article 10 of the NPP constitution, which deals with the removal of officers, stipulates: “Whenever forty per cent (40 per cent) of the delegates that elect constituency, regional and national officers as the case may be, give written notice to the constituency, regional or national executive as the case may be, of the demand for the removal of any elected officer, the Executive Committee which receives such notice shall, within one (1) week of receipt of the notice, circulate such notice to all delegates affected.”
It also states: “The petition for the removal of an officer shall be on stated grounds, a copy of which shall be given to the affected officer who shall be given the opportunity to be heard by a body constituted by the Executive Committee.”
Since assuming the high offices of National Chairman and General Secretary, Mr Afoko and Mr Agyepong, respectively, have been faced with one challenge or another.
Their case has been made the more difficult with the tragic demise of the party’s Upper East Regional Chairman, Alhaji Mahama.
Alhaji Mahama died at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital last Thursday after acid was poured on him by some unknown individuals and was buried last Saturday according to Islamic traditions.