General Secretary of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, has strongly asserted that the National Executives of the party will crack the whip on any erring member so as to ensure that respect and discipline in the party is maintained.
He said, he, together with his colleague executives, will not hesitate to read the riot act to any group of persons or an individual in the party who will take the law into their own hands as far as the good of the party is concerned.
The bickering and internal squabbles within the NPP appear rising by the day.
There was a clash between security guards appointed by the old executives and those allegedly appointed by the new executives at the party’s National Head quarters in Accra, Monday.
The timely arrival of police from the Nima Divisional Command prevented what could have been a bloody spectacle since the old guards fiercely resisted the attempt by the new guards to take over their duties at the party’s National Headquarters.
Groups supporting one candidate or the other are most often at each other’s throat, regional chairmen are demanding for a change in the date for congress, the party is facing a suit action and the use of unprintable words by some members against the National Executives and other members are on the ascendency.
Speaking to matters arising in the opposition party, Kwabena Agyepong called for unity and respect for democratic rights of others saying “there was so much noise in the NPP presently.”
Regional Chairmen press conference
Regional Chairmen of the NPP recently petitioned the National Council (NC) of the party to change the date for the election of the party’s presidential candidate from December 6, to a day in September 2014.
According to them, if the party maintains the December 6 date, every effort made to address the current issues confronting it would yield no positive result and would consequently cost NPP a great deal in its collective effort to unseat the ruling National Democratic Congress in 2016.
But the General Secretary expressed surprise at the call, since according to him, they (Regional Chairmen) were part of the committee that fixed the December 6th date.
“I was surprised that the regional chairmen, who are the embodiment of our party; who have access to the national council will come out with such a statement. I was surprised. Why couldn’t they wait for the national executive committee meeting or the national council meeting?” he asked.
On June 17 this year, a leading member of the party, David Hoezame, filed a motion for an interim injunction specifically praying the Accra High Court to restrain the NPP from conducting the Presidential elections until the final determination of the suit challenging the present composition of National Council (NC).
Even before the motion is heard on July 3, Northern Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bugri Naabu, accused the National Chairman and General Secretary of deliberately orchestrating the court action.
In response to this, Kwabena Agyepong held that the normal procedure where one has to go through grievance processes in the party should have been followed before the suit was filed. He nonetheless refuted claims that he and Paul Afoko, are behind the filing of the suit.
“Any individual in this party, according to our constitution, must go through the grievance processes before going to court…you don’t have to resort to a court action. If you feel that you are not happy with something, you can see the national executives or even write to the General Secretary of the party and air your views…”
“Where is his (Bugri’s) evidence? A whole regional chairman, without evidence describes national chairman in such unprintable terms… that is not acceptable, that is not right, that is indiscipline and that has to be checked, and I’m going to make sure that is checked. Why are we turning the guns on ourselves?…Some of the happenings in the party even makes you wonder if the party is cursed; there is no need for this confusion at all because there is no issue at stake,” he said.
He wondered what decisions the new executive have taken since they came to office to warrant people to conclude they were there to favour one candidate or the other.
“We are only using the constitution. There is no such thing as an agenda 2020,” he added.
Crack the whip
The General Secretary however gave the assurance that the current national executives will delve into the various issues that have cropped up and ensure that the necessary disciplinary actions are taken.
“There should be respect and discipline in this party”, he remarked and added: “I don’t think the regional chairmen will be happy if this is being done to them…What if their constituency chairmen also behave in a similar manner, how will they take it? Will they like it? And they all report to me, and have not communicated with me and go out publicly and make statements. I think that is wrong. I will discuss that with the steering committee and we will meet them and see what actions we have to take as a party…As General Secretary, the party will remain supreme, the party is bigger than any individual and I will see to that. We must set good example…I believe we need to bring everybody together…why are we turning the guns on ourselves?” Mr Agyapong asked.