Factions split NPP; Group calls for Akufo-Addo’s resignation (May 27, 2015) Front page



Factionalism has taken centre stage within the New Patriotic Party (NPP), following the sudden death of Alhaji Adams Mahama, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the party last week.

While some regional executives of the party have called on the National Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko, and the General Secretary, Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, to step aside, a new group calling itself Save NPP Now has demanded the resignation of the flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, too. 

The group is asking Nana Akufo-Addo to resign by Friday or face indefinite demonstrations until he is ousted.  
Already, the executives of seven regional branches have called for Mr Afoko and Mr Agyepong’s resignation for the party to begin the process of rebuilding. 

They are the Central, Western, Northern, Upper East, Volta, Greater Accra and Eastern regions. 
The executives of the Ashanti and the Upper West regions are yet to take a position, while those of the Brong Ahafo Region have voted in support of the two national executives.

With these two forces at play, it appears the centre of the party is far from holding together, even after Alhaji Mahama’s death and burial. 

Background
Since assuming office as the National Chairman and the General Secretary, respectively, Mr Afoko and Mr Agyepong have been bombarded with one challenge after another.

Their situation has been made more difficult with Alhaji Mahama’s tragic demise. 
Alhaji Mahama died at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital last Thursday after acid was poured on him by some unknown individuals and he was buried last Saturday according to Islamic tradition.

Akufo-Addo at headquarters 
Nana Akufo-Addo yesterday visited the NPP Headquarters in Accra to acquaint himself with what was happening. 
On his Facebook wall, he declared: “I was at the party headquarters earlier today to be briefed on matters happening in the party and also assess the security situation at the headquarters.”

A visit to the NPP headquarters yesterday saw a police presence, with their water canon visibly positioned nearby. But the gates were manned by the party’s private security. 
Save NPP Now
Giving an indication of a long battle ahead, the Communications Director of Save NPP Now, Mr Baah Acheamfour, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the group would not retreat until Nana Akufo-Addo resigned.

“If he does not step down, we are not going to stop the demonstrations because he has proved beyond reasonable doubt that he cannot manage and mend the divisions in the party. He is engaged in divide and rule,” he said. 
Why Akufo-Addo must go

Giving reasons why Nana Akufo-Addo must resign, he said the presidential aspirant came to meet a very strong and energetic party, but from the facts on the ground, things had been messed up. 

“This is not the party former President Kufuor left. When former President Kufuor became the flag bearer, the NPP did not even have one kilometre of road constructed in its name, but he managed to win the elections.

“Look at the momentous projects he (Kufuor) left for him (Akufo-Addo) but look at his performance in two elections,” he noted.
Mr Acheamfour accused Nana Akufo-Addo of masterminding Mr Afoko and Mr Agyepong’s impeachment.
IMANI drafting NPP manifesto? 

He also accused the party leader and people he described as thea cabal around the leader of trying to take the heart and the soul of the party to such an extent that the party’s Manifesto Committee had been pushed aside and its function handed over to IMANI Ghana, a policy think tank. 

False allegations  
But responding to the allegations, Nana Akufo-Addo’s Press Secretary, Mr Eugene Arhin, told the Daily Graphic that the allegations were false and unfounded.

“The reasons he gave for asking the flag bearer to step aside are ridiculous. There is no iota of truth in anything he is alleging.

“I cannot begrudge him if he wants to embark on a demonstration, but I can assure him that Nana Akufo-Addo is not going anywhere. He has the mandate of more than 80 per cent of our party members,” he said of the demonstration threat.

On the party sidelining its Manifesto Committee, he said the allegation showed the group’s level of ignorance of how the  Manifesto Committee worked.

“The manifesto is drafted by party people. We collate views from all our stakeholders, including parliamentarians and within ourselves. It is then drafted by party people and not outsourced to anybody,” he added.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, also discredited the allegation, describing it as a mere fabrication. 

Police investigate Tamale shooting 
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Police Command has begun investigations into the shooting incident in Tamale last Monday in which some unknown gunmen opened fire on a youth group of the NPP at a venue called the ‘Popular office’ at Aboabo, a suburb of the Tamale metropolis, reports Samuel Duodu from Tamale.

According to the police, a complaint had been lodged with them by the group over the shooting, which they alleged was carried out by another group within the party.

The Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Ebenezer Tetteh, who confirmed the shooting incident, said the police had initiated investigations into the matter.

According to him, the group said they were sitting at the "Popular Office" around 8 p.m. chatting among themselves when, all of a sudden, they saw some people opening fire on them from a distance.
He said no casualty or injuries were recorded and no arrest had been made so far.

The police could not give the immediate reason for the shooting incident but the youth group who were fired at claim that the attack on them resulted from ongoing calls within the party for Messrs Afoko and Agyepong’s resignation.
Accusation and counter-accusations

When the Daily Graphic visited the scene of the incident, some members of youth group had gathered at the ‘Popular Office’ discussing current happenings in the party, while members of the group they alleged to be responsible for the opening of fire on them, called the Nana Akufo-Addo Fan Club, also sat at a place opposite the ‘Popular Office’.

The Spokesperson of the youth group at the ‘Popular Office’, Alhassan Mohammed Awal, said the group believed that the attack on them was also the result of their perceived opposition to moves by the party executives in the region to impeach the two national officers.

When the Daily Graphic contacted the Nana Akufo-Addo Fan Club, its Secretary, who gave his name only as Yamusah, denied the allegation levelled against the group, saying they were all “brothers” and that they normally went to sit in the open in the evening to play "Oware" and cards together. 
He added that there was no disagreement or tension between them.

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