"Stop The Media Circus"-Says Afoko

 Paul Awentami Afoko

Newly-elected National Chairman and Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Awentami Afoko, has made a passionate appeal to would-be flagbearer aspirants and their supporters to "stop the unnecessary media circus and rally behind the new leadership to reconcile and bring unity to the party".

The on-going wrangling in the elephant party, particularly among the top echelons, has been described as unhealthy by political analysts, especially for a party that ought to be positioning itself as an alternative to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Immediately after the party’s National Delegates Conference in Tamale, the media war reared its ugly head again among supporters of Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku.

Whiles Nana Addo’s camp maintain he remains the party’s best chance to regain power, those in the other camps believe otherwise. Indeed, there is every indication that Alan Kyerematen has bounced back into action, ratcheting up his political rhetoric to prove that he is on his feet to claim the slot as the NPP’s flagbearer

But just before the conference, he gave a strong indication that he will be in the race. Now, he is speaking more confidently, loudly, and clearly than Akufo-Addo had been doing before the outcome of the conference.

Some headlines such as “Nana’s popularity won’t guarantee victory for NPP—Alan” and “I don’t need anybody to convince people about who I am—Alan”; encapsulates his utterances.

And as if unsure or already threatened by Alan’s words, the Akufo-Addo camp reportedly reacted in a knee-jerk manner. An Akufo-Addo aide, Mustapha Hamid replied that “… if Mr. Kyerematen thinks he is that popular and Ghanaians want him, he should try standing as an independent candidate for the presidency.”

Dr Apraku, on his part, says he wants to be the party’s flagbearer because he can provide a crucial difference by attracting floating voters.

In a statement to the Daily Graphic, he said: “We don’t have enough votes to win the elections ourselves and so invariably whoever is elected has to be the one wjo is capable of balancing and attracting floating voters.”

Perhaps it is on the basis of these reports that the newly-elected National Chairman, together with his Executives turned their attention to the issue of party unity, cohesion and curbing intemperate language at their maiden interaction with the media.

“I assure you as chairman that I and my executives will be governed by the tenets of our constitution. We shall be strategic in our thinking, and will at all times, take deliberate and measured decisions in the best interest of the party.

As Chairman and Leader I want to reiterate my promise to the party and especially to future contestants for the flagbearership contest that I will remain a neutral. I will urge the other executives to do the same. We shall be honest brokers, unifiers and committed to the party and with the support of all members and sympathisers of this great party, we will work to carry this party into government,” Paul Afoko said at the press conference.

Read below the full statement

 

 

ADDRESS BY MR. PAUL AFOKO, CHAIRMAN AND LEADER OF THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY (NPP) AT HIS MAIDEN PRESS CONFERENCE ON TUESDAY APRIL 22, 2014 AT THE PARTY’S NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS.

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media.

Thank you for honoring my invitation to you to be part of this maiden press conference after our very successful National Delegates Conference in Tamale. The result of that conference is the reason why I am addressing you today as the Chairman and Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

At that Conference the message of our respected delegates was very clear and emphatic. By choosing from varied backgrounds, different shades of opinions and interest groups, the delegates were simply telling us that it is time to come together and to work to bring it to power in the next general elections i

As the Chairman and Leader of this Party that is exactly what I intend to do. I am therefore inviting everybody including all contestants at all levels of elections in the recent re-organization of the party’s structures. I am also inviting all people who have become inactive and withdrawn for one reason or the other to come back to the fold and contribute actively and meaningfully for the success of our party. Indeed I am inviting all who love this party to come on board and lets work together to take our party back to power. It is in our collective interest to bury our differences and work together for our survival. Your party needs you now!!!

The 2016 general election is crucially important to the Ghanaian people. From my extensive travels around the country I have become aware that Ghanaians are waiting for the NPP. We cannot afford to fail them. It is for this reason that I think we cannot and should not allow narrow and parochial selfish interests to get in the way.

My team and I have just returned from Tamale. We will hold our first steering committee meeting tomorrow. My priority is to over see the strengthening of the various structures of the party at all levels. The composition and leadership of the various committees of the party will also be reviewed. We will address all outstanding issues relating to the pillars of the party from the polling stations through to the constituency, regional and national levels. For example the National Council is to be reconstituted in accordance with the party’s constitution.

So, as you can see, there is a lot of work ahead of us we shall in due course give our members a time for the next three months. For the reason, let me therefore make a passionate appeal to all those who plan to contest for the flagbearship position in the party and their supporters to stop the unnecessary media circus and rally behind the new leadership to reconcile and bring unity to the party.

You will agree with me that whoever is elected to lead us into the general elections will need a united, strong and a battle-ready party to achieve our goal of victory at the next elections. This party is in transition therefore my advice to the media will be not to take peoples’ personal opinions as those of the party.

The NPP is the largest political party in this country and as stated earlier if we organize well, strengthen our structures and work hard, I have no doubt in my mind that we will return to our winning ways. I intend to be strategic in every action I take with power for the party as the ultimate goal.

I assure you as chairman that I and my executives will be governed by the tenets of our constitution. We shall be strategic in our thinking and will at all time take deliberate and measured decisions in the best interest of the party.

As Chairman and Leader I want to reiterate my promise to the party and especially to future contestants for the flagbearership contest that I will remain a neutral. I will urge the other executives to do the same. We shall be honest brokers, unifiers and committed to the party and with the support of all members and sympathisers of this great party, we will work to carry this party into government.

Let me also use the opportunity to thank the party’s Elections Committee for a well planned and executed National Delegates Conference. I also want to thank the security agencies (the police and the military) for the good job done.

I must however hasten to add that the police should expedite their investigations into the shooting incident that nearly marred the conference. These incidents are becoming too frequent and members of our party appear to be at the receiving end. I therefore wish to appeal to the security agencies to work hard to bring the culprits to book.

Of course on my own behalf and on behalf of the newly elected team, I want to thank the media for the great coverage you gave to our party and the delegates’ conference. Your contribution to the success of the conference cannot be over emphasized. Indeed the role of the media in our multiparty democracy is an indispensable one. It is the media that help to keep us on our toes and to keep our sense of fairness and indeed our consciences alive. I thank you all for the great work you have done and continue to do for our party and our country.

Once again I call on all NPP members to revive the spirit of service, sacrifice and selflessness in order to rejuvenate the base of our great party. As national executives we will work at restoring the party as a genuinely united force and ensure that the party machinery at the grassroots level is resourced and well-oiled to prosecute an effective campaign in every nook and cranny of our communities and prepare the peoples’ minds for a change. Ghanaians deserve better and life will certainly be better under the NPP.

Long live the NPP
Long Live Ghana.

 

 

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