By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
On Sunday, May 31, 2015, Ms. Otiko Afisa Djaba, the National Women’s Organizer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), launched a week-long fasting and praying session in order to seek the grace of Divine Providence in warding off what Ms. Djaba characterized as the “demon of confusion” wracking the party. This comes in the wake of the acid-dousing assassination of the Upper-East’s Regional NPP Chairman, Mr. Adams Mahama, on May 20, 2015.
So far, the younger brother of NPP National Chairman Paul Afoko, and one other suspect, has been arrested and charged with causing the death of Mr. Adams Mahama. But what makes this case even more interesting is the fact that in the waking of the breaking news report of the death of Mr. Mahama, Mr. Afoko, the NPP’s National Chair, copped an alibi for his brother, Mr. Gregory Afoko. The alibi was that the murder suspect had been fast asleep at the time of the brutal incident. The NPP National Chairman had also reportedly claimed that the motorcycle by which his brother, Gregory, could have assaulted Mr. Mahama was ice-cold and in the possession of the indicted criminal suspect when cops investigating Mr. Mahama’s fatal attack arrived at the home of Mr. Gregory Afoko.
That the alibi copped for his younger brother does not seem to have mustered forensic scrutiny is all the more problematic, because it at least indirectly implicates the NPP’s National Chairman. And if this trend of reasoning has validity, then Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to allow Mr. Afoko regain the use of the party’s headquarters in Accra is deeply flawed. In other words, in Mr. Paul Afoko, we may well have a murderer or even a murderer’s accomplice fronting as Chief Administrator of the New Patriotic Party. In brief, unless Mr. Afoko is promptly suspended from office until all police enquiries in the matter are complete, Nana Akufo-Addo may well be guilty of covering up for the man who has studiously been plotting against his political success from the very day Mr. Afoko was elected National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party.
It is regarding this aspect of the “demonic confusion” wreaking untold havoc in the NPP where the prayerful-week session launched by Ms. Djaba would clearly not work. For there is clear-cut forensic evidence that the NPP is willfully harboring criminal suspects at the highest echelons of its administrative machinery. Where General-Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong comes into the picture is purely circumstantial, but it is not necessarily tenuous or irrelevant. And it has to do with the fact that the riotus disturbances that occurred at the Bolgatanga headquarters of the NPP, and which may directly have provoked the assassination of Mr. Mahama, entailed the apparently tinder presence of Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong, both of whom are also widely alleged to have separately filed an assault complaint with the Bolgatanga police.
What has not, so far, been publicly revealed by the Bolgatanga police is whom Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong categorically faulted for their alleged assault. Mr. Adams Mahama, it is very significant to note, only days before his barbaric assassination, had officially apologized for the chaotic incident. But in his press release, the slain man categorically refused to take any blame for the violent hostilities in Bolgatanga. Instead, he put that responsibility squarely on the doorstep of Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong whose allegedly factional and discriminatory approach to party governance Mr. Mahama faulted for much of the problems besieging the party. Memorably and significantly, Mr. Mahama issued a passionate call for “cohesion” and “unity” as the new watchwords of the New Patriotic Party, if the party was to have a fighting chance at Election 2016.
What I have been trying to suggest here is that unless Ms. Djaba’s prayer call is staunchly backed by resolute leadership, the NPP may as well concede defeat right now. In other words, unless Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong are promptly and swiftly disciplined for their obvious role in the events leading towards the acid-dousing assassination of Mr. Mahama, the two top NPP administrators could well become the subject of the 2016 electioneering campaign of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Needless to say, one does not need a doctorate in rocket science to figure out why some leading NDC operatives and their propagandists are fighting so unusually hard to ensure that Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong stay at their posts. Prayer, it has long been observed, can move mountains. But in the case of the raging “demonic confusion” in the NPP, the best antidote is a tough-minded, albeit fair, leadership in the NPP.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York