Let me own up first. I voted and campaigned vigourously for Paul Afoko, particularly Western Regional votes in 2014 before we went to Tamale. He won and I was happy. I believed and trusted him to be sincere towards the course of the NPP even if Nana Akufo Addo did not like him, as he has made the world to believe. Obviously, he also did not like Nana Akufo Addo but all of them like the NPP. In my view, their collective love and attachment to the party and what it stands for would have watered down whatever animosity; real or perceived that existed between them. Nay, it did not happen, the unexpected happened, Paul Afoko has exercised his constitutional right to challenge his suspension in court.
In the past few weeks, Paul Afoko has resorted to the use of the media to make his case in the court of public opinion. First on TV3 and UTV, the party decided not to respond, he moved on to the international arena. In the April issue of the ‘Africanwatch’, a precious 44 pages of the magazine was dedicated to Paul Afoko. Readers, I want to state that once upon a time, I was a correspondent for this magazine here in Ghana. It was then the ‘African Observer’. I have been to its offices in New York and have a very good relationship with Steve Mallory, the Publisher and Editor In-Chief.
No magazine anywhere in the world will dedicate 44 pages of its precious space to an individual in one issue for free. The Afoko-laden April issue was fully paid for. Afoko has the means to pay over US$100,000 to get his message across to the world, alternatively, some interested parties can also pay it for him with the ultimate aim of not only destroying Nana Akufo-Addo, but scuttling the chances of the NPP in the forthcoming elections. To Paul Afoko, by all intents and purposes, it is better the NPP loses the elections than Nana Addo becoming the President of this country.
When I got a copy of the Africanwatch, (I subscribe to it), and scanned through it, my initial instincts was not to read anything about Afoko but the journalism in me pushed me to find out what was contained in the paper. I was stunned by Afoko’s self-glorifications and the peddling of some untruths, indeed, his premeditated cleansing of the party Headquarters of officers perceived to be Akufo-Addo loyalists instead of party loyalists, whom he describes as ‘militant wing’ even before he won the election was so obvious of his intents before he assumed power as the national chairman of the party.
Afoko claims that two years after elections, ‘after all the millions and millions of Ghana cedis the party had raised two years previously, prior to and during the 2012 election campaign, Afoko could not believe his eyes that the great NPP, the party that had ruled Ghana for 8 years between 2001and 2008, had only a miserable 89 (eighty-nine) Ghana cedis in its official bank account in April 2014…….. That was the basis for Afoko to raid the party Headquarters in a Rambo fashion to drive away party workers without recourse to civility and show of appreciation for the sacrifices those workers had made for the party.
At the time these hate-induced actions were being taken by the Afoko and his cohorts, Nana Addo was still a candidate and had no official powers in the scheme of affairs in the running of the party except to proffer non-binding opinions on party affairs. Afoko’s indiscretion and premeditated coup mentality in dealing with issues of the party was the beginning of the problem. He is very silent on that. In any case, at the time he was booting out people from the party Headquarters on mere suspicions that millions of cedis had flowed into the party’s accounts and therefore the monies had been squandered, had there been any audited accounts to support his claims? Some parties come out of elections with deficit balances.
He goes on to say that during his campaign for the national chairmanship, ‘word reached him that Akufo Addo and his men were nervous about him’. Was he not nervous about him in 2007, 2010 and even in 2014? He says ‘people even tried to force him to say he would support Akufo-Addo in the Presidential primaries when he wins the chairmanship’. He said ‘I told them no! I will not do such a thing’.
Afoko needs to be reminded that in his second meeting with the delegates from the Western Region at the Takoradi Beach Hotel, he virtually said his tours throughout the country has produced just one candidate for the presidential primaries and that should he be elected, he would support their choice. Who was the choice, Nana Akufo-Addo obviously. Afoko is not being truthful, or drove on the back of Akufo Addo’s popularity to win the elections just to see him as a Medusa whose wings and tentacles should be cut off to get to the Head.
Afoko brags about his financial contribution to the party. Hear him ‘I made immense financial contributions to the party in the last two general elections’, Afoko says. Ask yourself who was the presidential candidate in those two elections? Akufo Addo. “And not only did I put my financial resources at their disposal, I worked hard on top of that. And now as I have become national chairman of the party, I am told, ‘Go away. We don’t like your face’.
Afoko, nobody will downplay your contributions towards the party, but before ‘you, there were’. Where were you between 1992 and the 2000? Do you know which people financed the party when political party activities were lifted in 1992? Kwame Pianim who fell out with Kufuor and the NPP was one of the pillars of the party at the time. The late Stephen Krakue, the late Dr. Addison, Nana Akufo Addo himself and others too numerous to mention built this party, nurtured it through two previous elections before victory in 2000. That was when you came in. You only came into the scene to benefit from the ‘spoils of war’. You benefited from the NPP in power more than those who contributed to the creation of the party, its nurturing and ensuring its survival.
NPP did not begin with Paul Afoko and will not die without Paul Afoko. Afoko’s wealth today was as a result of his association with the Kufuor government in power and not when the party was in opposition. Nana Akufo Addo was the first Director of Campaign in 1992, at his own expense, he traversed every corner of this country with Prof. Adu Boahen and financed partially the campaign. Where was Afoko? Nana Addo took active part in the writing of the ‘Stolen Verdict’ when the 1992 elections went bad. Where was Afoko? He was actively involved in the campaign that brought Kufuor to power, Afoko was then, in the U.K. He should not over glorify his contribution to the party that has made him the billionaire that he may be today.
Has Afoko sat down to analyse the fact that the party knew no peace at its headquarters during his tenure as the chairman? Is he comparing the relative peace, at least at the party headquarters since his exit? What did he do wrong or right that nearly brought the party down just to blame Nana Addo for it? The major beneficiaries of his globetrotting attempt at destroying Nana Addo, six months to elections, are the NDC people. Has Afoko been paid to make it impossible for Nana Addo to win the coming elections? As I write, I understand he is going to be on the BBC. Who is paying for this when his case is appropriately before a court of competent jurisdiction?
Paul Afoko is really a man in stature and physic, but he does not tower above the thinking of majority of the people of this country whose conditions of life keeps on deteriorating daily as a result of the criminal mismanagement of the nation’s resources by Paul’s new found friends in the NDC. Paul can form a counter campaign team locally against Nana Addo, the decision would be that of Ghanaians.
The writer can be reached by e-mail: [email protected]