Recent election of political strategist and business mogul, Paul Awemtemi Afoko as the national chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) seems to be yielding fruitful and positive dividends.
Information reaching The aL-hAJJ indicates that the newly-elected NPP Chairman, the first northerner to have occupied that position, utilizing his deep political and analytical expertise and northern background is winning souls in the Zongos across the country, which have been safe haven for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) since the start of multi-party democracy in 1992.
Credible reports abound that Mr Afoko has invaded the Zongo territories, particularly in the Greater Accra region, and is using his “New Plan for Power” agenda to draw the youths into the biggest opposition party’s folds.
Mr Paul Afoko is said to have capitalized on the ruling government’s inability to fulfill its campaign promises to the Zongo communities and has infiltrated youth groups of the NDC, among them include, Zongo Caucus Youth, Zongo for Mahama, Youth for Mahama and other Muslim-related political groupings with strong affinity to the ruling party.
Some NDC members in the Zongo communities, worried about the development, narrated to The aL-hAJJ how some of the youths who felt “used and dumped” have bought into Mr. Afoko’s message and are decamping to the NPP.
“We have been voting the NDC all these years; we are the people who have been policing the ballot boxes to ensure the party is not shortchanged in elections. What have we benefited all these years for killing ourselves for the NDC…so if Afoko has come and he is promising to assist us with tools to aide our work, why should I turn down his offer. What has the NDC done for me that I should continue to kill myself for it?” quizzed a staunch NDC supporter based at Nima.
Reports are that some of the NDC groups in the Zongo communities have ceased to open their offices because according to them, the party has not fulfilled promises they made to the people base on which they retained the NDC in power.
The leadership of the groups themselves, are said to be complaining about the neglect, as a result of which they are unable to interface with their brethren in the Zongos to continue keeping faith with the Mahama government.
An ardent NDC supporter at Accra New Town on Tuesday narrated to this reporter;
“Those who came to us to convince us to vote for the NDC are themselves complaining of mistreatment. You talk to them about your problems; they reply you with lamentations. All the promises they made to us during the campaign have been left unattended. NDC is not a religion for me to remain in it even when I have been ill-treated. Afoko has promised to give us motorbikes, bicycles and other things and I have already accepted that offer.”
Sources close to NPP Chairman disclosed to The aL-hAJJ that one of Mr. Afoko’s strategy to return the party to power is to make strong incursions into NDC’s strongholds and snatch the three northern regions and the over 1000 Zongos dotted across the country from the ruling party.
Political watchers say if Mr. Afoko is able to stake claim to the Zongos and the three northern regions as he has started, then President Mahama and the NDC will find it difficult retaining power in the 2016 elections.
The election of young and energetic Kamal Deen Abdulai as Nasara Coordinator at the NPP’s recently held conference in Tamale is also said to have revived the NPP in the Zongos as various coordinators have joined him and Mr. Afoko to employ all legitimate means to snatch the Zongos from the NDC.
They are reported to have embarked on an operation “capture all Zongos” to enhance the NPP’s fortunes of recapturing power in the next presidential and parliamentary elections.