Machomen Storm NPP Headquarters

Mr. Paul Afoko.jpgOver a dozen macho men believed to be supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday stormed the party’s head office at Asylum Down, Accra, apparently to disrupt a press conference being addressed by Paul Afoko, NPP national chairman.

The thugs also targeted the party’s general secretary, Kwabena Adjei Agyepong, but were prevented from entering the main building by security guards.

Mr. Agyepong was at the conference room in the building at the time the thugs stormed the premises.

Mr. Afoko described the incident as “an invasion and attack on the NPP headquarters by intruders”.

“We did not engineer this, we were at a peaceful press conference when they came, the media must read between the lines”, he said.

It took a quick response from the Nima Division Command and Police Headquarters to prevent an imminent blood bath.

This is the second time that thugs have invaded the NPP head office in barely three months. The previous one was on June 23, when security guards from the Invisible Force and Magot Security engaged in a free-for-all, before the police intervened.

Yesterday’s incident started when a popular NPP female activist and failed women organizer, Hajia Fati Amadu entered the compound and launched a scathing verbal attack on the general secretary. Her voice could be heard several hundred metres afar.

Minutes later, the macho men gate-crashed after overpowering security men at the main gate.

They were however prevented from entering the main building where the conference was taking place, amidst the pulling out of machetes and other offensive weapons.

The thugs, then attempted to set ablaze a parked four-wheel vehicle with registration number GS 1976-13, but were prevented by the security.

The situation became chaotic, hence, drawing the attention of journalists who were inside the conference room to the balcony to observe the incident.

Later in an interview, Mr. Afoko bemoaned the attitude of some top members of the party and their supporters, who he said had made his work difficult.

He said as the national chairman he would serve the collective interest of NPP and not individuals.

Mr. Afoko noted however that some people in the party for their selfish ends do not want him to perform his duties since assuming the woolsack five months ago.

He wondered how a simple administrative issue such as asking the acting director of communications, Perry Okudzeto to take his leave would be blown out of proportion.

He noted that the current re-alignment at the party’s head office was meant to inject professionalism into the work of the staff.

The chairman denied that the general secretary and he had breached the NPP’s constitution by appointing deputy communicators and other deputy directors.

He maintained that the party’s constitution stipulates that such appointments could be made by the general secretary.

However, the appointments of substantive directors should be made by the Steering Committee with the approval of the National Executive Committee of the party, he noted.

 

Background

The NPP chairman and general secretary have came under a ‘tornado’ of criticism from the rank and file since they asked the acting communications director, Mr. Okudzeto to proceed on a 40-day leave.

The party’s national first vice chairman, Freddy Blay questioned the decisions taken by the general secretary and said they were in contravention of the party’s constitution.

Mr. Blay said, “Mr. Agyepong is taking so many things for granted, he should know the NPP is not his property”.

He explained that the general secretary cannot sack or appoint any one without the approval of NEC, which he (Blay) is a member.

Several other leading members of the party including F.F. Antoh, and Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover, Dr. Kwame Amoako- Tuffuor and Daniel Bugri Naabu have also chided Mr. Agyepong over the matter.

Mr. Antoh cautioned that the general secretary should not think he was untounchable and that he would be removed from office for taking unilateral decisions.

Yesterday’s press conference was therefore, called by the chairman and general secretary to clear the air on the issue.

 Press Conference

At the press conference, Paul Afoko, explained that there was nothing wrong for the acting Communications Director to be asked to proceed on leave since he (Okudzeto) had not taken his leave for 4 years.

But, Paul Afoko noted that the party was  not run unilaterally and that the General Secretary, according to the Party’s constitutions has every right to asked Perry Okudzeto to proceed on leave without consulting the party’s  hierarchy.

He said although, some party’s faithfuls thought he (Afoko) and Kwabena Agyeapong was not fair to  Perry Okudzeto and  the former finance and administrative director , Mr Opare Hammond, Mr Afoko explained that Mr Hammond was sacked due to some misappropriations of funds, conflict of interest and refusal to carry out instructions.

“Mr. Opare Hammond was asked to vacate from his position because he disobeyed orders. There were also some mishandling of party funds during his tenure. We even came across some foreign accounts with signatories to that accounts bearing names which were unknown to us” he said.

On recent appointments of the party’s deputy communicators, the general secretary said the appointment  were part of measures to beef-up  the party’s communications team and the decision was arrived at during the party’s Steering Committee meeting.

“The decision to beef up the communication team through the appointments of new deputy communication directors was thoroughly discussed at the steering committee meeting. So those decisions were not mine own decision but that of the Steering Committee” he hinted.

He noted the appointment of Mr. Abudu Abdul Ganiyu and Ahmed Karim as communications team for the Northern Sector, Nana Yaw Osei and Jennifer Amoako for the middle belt and  Micahel Ampong whilst, Mike Ocquaye, Kofi Boateng, Pius Hadzide and Seibik Bugri to represent the Western and Eastern corridors, were parts of initiatives to strengthen the organs within the party.

He noted he (Kwabena Agyeapong and Paul Afoko) would continue to remain neutral, honest and also respect the rules and regulations of the party.

He added that they were willing and ready to support any candidate who becomes the party’s flag bearer and that those tagging them to a particular candidate should stop since their actions continue to destroy the image of the party

“We did not take these positions to support any individuals or groups but in the interest of our great party in order to win the 2016 general elections and we would  continue to remain neutral as leaders of our party,” he stated.

 

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