The youth of the Asogli State in the Volta region are the most recent to join in the demand for an apology from the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), Freddie Blay for 'insulting' the Agbogbomefia Togbe Afede XIV.
Freddie Blay's response to the President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede has sparked outrage especially among members of the Asogli traditional Area who are demanding for an apology from both the Chairman and the NPP.
The NPP Chairman is said to have described the Chief's address to the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on the 275 buses saga as "Palmwine business talk"
According to the youth, Mr. Blay implied that the overlord of the Asogli State and President of the National House of Chiefs was drunk on palm wine and was not in his right frame of mind as he made the remarks on the issue bothering on corruption perception.
"We are further saddened that a person of Mr. Blay’s stature, a lawyer, a former member of parliament (MP) and a former first deputy speaker of Ghana’s parliament could not exercise the least restraint in his response but vituperate such words to denigrate Togbe Afede and the Chieftaincy Institution.", they stated.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we have invited you here today to address the nation and the entire world on Mr. Freddie Blay the Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s response to Agbogbomefia Afede XIV’s address to the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on the 275 buses saga.
The youth of the Asogli State and their leaders wish to express their disgust at Mr. Blay’s description of Togbe Afede’s remarks on the issue as “palmwine business talk”.
The Asogli youth view Mr. Blay's response as not only derogatory but disrespectful and insulting. We shudder to believe that Mr. Blay implied that the overlord of the Asogli State and President of the National House of Chiefs was drunk on palm wine and was not in his right frame of mind as he made the remarks on the issue bothering on corruption perception. We are further saddened that a person of Mr. Blay’s stature, a lawyer, a former member of parliament (MP) and a former first deputy speaker of Ghana’s parliament could not exercise the least restraint in his response but vituperate such words to denigrate Togbe Afede and the Chieftaincy Institution.
We wish to tell Freddie Blay without mincing words that as a lawyer he has little or nothing to show on his career. All we can say about him is that, he is a political prostitute, having defected from the Convention People’s Party (CPP) after he won his seat on its ticket in the Nzema Elembelle Constituency on the wings of the late President Nkrumah where the people voted for him with the hope that he would carry on with his works. We believe that Mr. Blay abandoned the CPP because he realized at a certain point that the party was not as strong as he thought and could not push him to the height he had expected.
Now that he has maneuvered to shove away some of the leading officials of the NPP by means described by some insiders as vote-buying using the trick of the 275 buses, he believed he has reached his nirvana and can attack others who by dint of hard work have established themselves. An Ewe adage says “wo me norna glass horme nor ekpe da o” meaning if you live in a glass house you don’t throw stones.
We wish to ask what role Mr. Blay played in the building of the NPP and why he defected from the CPP?
We further seek an explanation from Mr. Blay whether he believes only politicians can resolve the corruption canker and whether traditional rulers, the clergy, and civil society cannot talk about issues of corruption. Again, while healthcare facilities are in short supply in our hospitals along-side the recently experienced “no bed syndrome” in our major health facilities, monies from nowhere could be splashed by persons like Blay on buses for NPP constituencies.
Mr. Freddie Blay we believe should have been guided by section 63 (c) of the chieftaincy Act (759) of 2008, which states among others that “a person who knowingly uses insulting or disrespectful language or insults a chief by word or conduct, commits an offense and is liable to summary conviction”. We, therefore, call on the National House of Chiefs to invoke this constitutional provision in this regard to give meaning to the mantra of rule of law.
We have all lived in this country where many calls have gone to the media, the clergy, traditional rulers, civil society organizations among others not to stand aloof while issues of corruption are raised anywhere as a way of stemming the tide.
Although chiefs are barred by law not to engage in partisan politics, this does not mean that chiefs cannot express their views when issues of corruption arise.
We do not intend to engage in politics or for that matter partisan politics with Mr. Blay but all we want to do is to set the records straight. We cannot fathom how such a harmless admonishing from our overlord could attract such harsh and abusive words from a person of Mr. Blay’s standing. Besides we fail to understand why his party the NPP has refused to comment on Mr. Blay's response.
These incessant attacks on the overlord of the Asogli state by political actors can no longer be countenanced. As this is not the first time a top official of the party has made derogatory remarks about Togbe Afede. It could be recalled that in April 2009, Mr. Kenwood Nuworsu former Volta Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) made similar disparaging remarks about Togbe, regarding a speech delivered as President of the Regional House of Chiefs at the durbar of chiefs in honour of H.E Professor John Evans Attah Mills of blessed memory. When he was pressurized to apologize he refused but the party saw nothing wrong with it.
We wish to remind Mr. Blay that his better-half Mrs. Gina Blay was recently enstooled as a queen of Taviefe Tradition Area which is a part of the Asogli Traditional Area of which Togbe Afede is the president. This bad-mannered behavior of Mr. Blay on the Chieftaincy Institution can be traced back to his matrimonial home. For “ale nye mitsi be yele gborme gblem nlorbe be ye le yefe asikenu gblem” literally meaning a sheep with the running stomach says it is littering the community but forgets that it is soiling its own tail.
We are convinced by the assertion of the Asogli State Council on a statement issued “we can only conclude that this is part of their boardroom decision” which affirms our belief that Mr. Blay actually spoke the minds of some NPP activists hence their silence on the issue.
Since the NPP Chairman remains, adamant on several calls on him to render an unqualified apology to both the Asogli State Council and the National House of Chiefs, the youth of the Asogli State wish to remind him to do the honourable thing so as not to incur the wrath of the youth.
We would appeal to the media to be circumspect in their coverage of all NPP related activities in relation to this issue in the area so as not to heighten the already mounting tension.
We are by this release calling on the people of Asogli, sympathizers and all well-meaning Ghanaians to rise up and rally behind us to resist this “holocaust”.
Remember that the Chieftaincy Institution remains the embodiment of the people and must not be toyed with by any person irrespective of their statue in society.
Long live Ghana, long live Asogli State.