A last minute attempt by ex-Presidential Secretary and aspiring General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to address delegates from the Ashanti Regio ,who will be converging at the Northern regional capital; Tamale on Saturday to elect new National Executives, yesterday landed him into a near fatal accident on the Accra-Nsawan road.
The NPP had changed the rules in the middle of the game, banning speeches by National Executive aspirants in total disrespect to convention and tradition, so Kwabena Agyei Agyapong and his aides, hopped into their cars rushing to Kumasi, to hold press conference, to speak to regional executives ahead of the Tamale Congress.
However, Mr. Agyapong’s vehicle is reported to have somersaulted three times. His aide, Davis Opoku Ansah ,who confirmed the accident to Citi News, said his boss and two others including his photographer, were rushed to the 37 Military Hospital for treatment.
Mr. Agyapong’s accident has been described as serious, with his 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser damaged beyond repairs.
The accident occurred on the Accra-Nsawam road, according to his aide, Davis Opoku-Ansah.
Mr Agyapong and his team, were going to Kumasi for a press conference prior to their departure to Tamale for the party’s National Delegates Conference scheduled for this Saturday, April 12, 2014.
It is not yet clear, how the accident happened, but Davis Opoku-Ansah told Adomonline.com that Mr. Agyepong sustained minor injuries, but the “campaign photographer is in critical condition”.
The ex-Press Presidential Secretary’s accident comes barely a week after another General Secretary aspirant, Nkrabea Effa Darteh, was involved in an accident which went unreported.
The Herald learnt that NPP National Executive Committee (NEC), at its last meeting held on Thursday April 3, 2014 unilaterally decided that there would be no speeches by the aspirants on the day of Congress.
The delivery of speeches on the day of Congress, was a tradition that brought the late Peter Ala-Adjetey into the mainstream politics of the NPP party in the early 1990’s. A relatively unknown Ala-Adjetey’s powerful speech, won him the admiration of the NPP Delegates on the day of voting.
He told party delegates of his upbringing, that he was a son of fisherman and fishmonger from La in the Greater Accra Region. Has 10 siblings, but was the only educated one and a lawyer. He told the Congress held inside the Great Hall of the University of Ghana-Legon that he believed in hard work and not “spoon-feeding”.
So powerful was his delivery that it swayed Delegates to his side, when the contest for the 1996 National Chairmanship was over, the present National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and Prof. Adjei Bekoe, a former Council of State Chairman, were nowhere close to him.
Mr. Ala-Adjetey’s speech that day propelled him to win the election at the expense of the other contestants.
Meanwhile, some aspirants are fuming at the leadership of the party for breaking the tradition and rules of the party in the middle of the game. One of them Richard Nyamah, who is aspiring to be the National Youth Organizer, last Monday threatened to head to court, if he and the others were not allowed to address the Delegates.
They are claiming that these same Executives, mooted the idea for regional congresses, as against the party’s tradition of congregating at a venue for Congress.
Some angry aspirants told The Herald that they are not enthused about the decision to bar the delivery of speeches on the day of Congress, because the party’s tradition is being contravened.
They cited how in 1992, the party went to Congress at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, where Dr. Addison, Dr. Djani Selby, J.A. Kufour, the late Albert Adu-Boahen, Kwame Sarfo Adu and one Lawyer Kodua were allowed by the late B.J.Da-Rotcha to deliver speeches to woo Delegates.
The same tradition was repeated in 1996, where J.A Kufour, Jones Ofori-Atta, Albert Adu-Boahen and Lawyer Kodua as part of the party’s tradition, were allowed to deliver speeches for the Delegates to assess them.
This again was repeated in the 1998 and 2007 flagbearer elections in Sunyani and Legon respectively, with candidates such as J.A Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo, Kofi Konadu Apraku, Kwame Mpianim, Malik Alhassan-Yakubu, J.H Mensah and others contesting.
The present state of the party, has left many especially political analysts, wondering why party stalwarts who the NPP, a once viable alternative to the ruling NDC are still interested in the affairs of the party or are just looking on while the traditions and rules are thrown to the dogs by Nana Akufo-Addo, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey and their cohorts.
Names like Roland Alhassan, ex -Ambassador to Germany from the Northern Region, Appiah Menka, Dr. Kwame Donkor Fordjour and G.K Osei -Bonsu from the Ashanti Region.
Madam Gladys Asmah, Christine Churcher, Dr Arthur Kennedy, Dr. Djani Selby, Mrs. Adu Boahene, representing the Central and Western Regions.
Other are Samuel Odoi-Sykes, ex – Ambassador to Canada, Prof. Adjei Bekoe, Cecilia Bannerman representing the Greater Accra Region and Gifty Ayeh, otherwise known as Daavi Ama, Rasheed Bawa, Lawyer Yeboah, Ray Kakaraba Korsah, Tommy Amematekpor, Lawyer Amesimeku of the Volta Region.
From the Eastern Region, Guggisberg Yaw Asante, Colonel Kudzeku, ex-Ambassador to Isreal with J. H. Mensah representing the Brong Ahafo.
The party elders are thought to have gone on a French Leave, while the party’s tradition and rules are blatantly broken.
According to The Herald’s inside sources, NEC chaired by Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, also an aspirant seeking reelection took the decision and later briefed the aspirants.
The aspiring National Youth Organize, Richard Nyamah and Fred AKwesi Sarfo, who is aspiring for the Vice National Chairmanship position of the party have both openly registered their displeasure about the party’s decision to bar them from delivering speeches on the day of congress.
They are contesting that the delivery of messages on the day of congress can shore up aspirants chances of winning the slot.