A group within the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) calling itself Youth For Afoko (YOFA) has warned the party’s vetting Committee against disqualifying Paul Afoko from the chairmanship race based on a “defective” petition submitted against him.
It warned that yanking Mr Afoko out of the race will amount to entrenching the perception that the NPP averse to non-Akans.
According to YOFA, disqualifying Mr Afoko on the grounds presented by the petition will “fan the age-long NDC propaganda that [portrays] the NPP [as] an ‘Akan-based party’”.
“Paul Afoko has earned his position in the party by merit and attempting to cut-short his dream of chairing this great tradition on unmeritorious grounds frustrates the effort of millions of Northerners in the party and whispers to them how insecure their future is in the party”, it argued.
The petition, according to the group, “holds that Paul Afoko should not be recommended as a candidate for the chairmanship because he was detained in the Usher fort for inciting people to resist [an attempted coup] in 1982”.
In a statement copied to XYZ News and signed by Spokespersons Gilbert Afoakwa, Felix Osarfo and Nana Yaw, the group said: “This petition is defective in logic, conceived of cheap opportunism and enveloped in convenience”.
“It further strips bear the desperation of its designers and their deep-rooted ignorance on both the 1992 Constitution and that of the party”, the group said.
According to the Afoko supporters, the petition “certainly cannot be a brainchild of objective petitioners, more so, when the Constitution is unambiguous in article 3(4) and five of the 1992 Constitution”’
Per that Article, “all citizens of Ghana shall have the right and duty at all times – (a) To defend this Constitution, and in particular, to resist any prison or group of persons seeking to commit any of the acts referred to in clause (3) of this article; (b) To do all in their power to restore this Constitution after it has been suspended, overthrown, or abrogated as referred to in clause (3) of this article. Article 3(5): Any person who suppresses or resists the suspension, overthrow or abrogation of this Constitution as referred to in clause (3) of this article, commit no offence”.
The group stressed that Mr Afoko “simply resisted the overthrow of a regime and the suspension of the Constitution in adherence to our governing document. So, he is in the eye of the law a hero and not a villain. So if we won’t celebrate him for that, we cannot scold him”.
YOFA said the petition against Mr Afoko is “clearly the last straw-clutching attempt of his detractors to get him off the race after failing to match his vision”.
It has therefore appeled to the vetting committee to “disregard such flimsy intangibles in the vetting process and in as much as possible provide a level playing field for all the contestants so that the eventual victor will reflect the collective choice of our discerning electoral college”.
Mr Afoko is contesting the incumbent Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, first Vice Chairman Fred Oware and twice-failed Aspirant Stephen Ntim in the party’s April 12, 2014 Annual National