A founder member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, has described as "disturbing" reports that the 1st Vice-Chairman of the party, Mr Freddie Blay, recently convened a party steering committee meeting in the absence of the National Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko and the General Secretary, Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong.
"It is the latest in overt and covert attempts to hijack the national executive outfit and undermine some elements in the leadership, especially the Chairman, Mr Afoko, and the General Secretary, Mr Agyepong, and we must all speak out against it," Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe said in a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic early yesterday.
The Steering Committee of the NPP convened an emergency meeting on Monday to deliberate on the party’s ongoing parliamentary primaries, in the absence of Mr Paul Afoko, who has travelled outside the country.
The meeting, according to the party’s 1st Vice-Chairman, Mr Blay, was convened in consonance with the party’s constitution, article 9 (1) 2 (a), which states that in the absence of the national chairman, the Ist vice-chairman can call such a meeting.
Mr Agyepong was also not present at the said meeting.
The meeting, which was held in the absence of the party’s national chairman and general secretary, has been condemned by some members of the party.
The party chairman is mandated to chair the steering committee meetings which are attended by elected national officers of the party. The apparent sidelining of the two party leaders has resurrected perceptions of a rift within Ghana’s largest opposition party.
Recounting party issues
But recounting party issues, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe lamented, "Ever since Afoko and Agyepong came to office, some people in the party have given them no peace. I am so shocked. This has never happened in the history of our party. Da Rocha, Agyenim Boateng, Ala Adjetey, Dan Botwe, Mac Manu, Ohene Ntow, Obetsebi Lamptey, Owusu Afriyie, no one undermined them in this way.
"We have a 1st vice chairman who recently joined from a rival party but now calls the shots and disregards party traditions, and no one calls him to order. This is untenable," Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe fumed.
He, therefore, advised," This is a critical time when the leadership should be ensuring unity at the grass-roots level so that we can wrest power from the NDC in 2016. These unnecessary power struggles can cost us and posterity will not forgive those who caused it."
Reacting, Mr Blay feels it would be mischievous to describe his call for an emergency steering committee meeting in the absence of the national chairman and the general secretary as “unconstitutional”.
Mr Agyepong has told the media he was unaware of the emergency steering committee meeting held at the NPP headquarters on Monday at the behest of Mr Blay.
But the Ist national vice-chairman insists that the general secretary was aware of the said meeting, which was attended by the presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.
“What we did was constitutional. “I can organise a meeting in accordance with the constitution. I am saying that he [Agyepong] was aware of this meeting,” Blay told Starr News.
Nine members out of the 13-member body, whose quorum is seven members, were present.