Afoko Storms Flagstaff House

From left: Kofi Portuphy and Paul Afoko
Embattled New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman Paul Afoko was visible at the Flagstaff House yesterday during the national prayers organised for the victims of the flood and the fire that killed close to 200 persons last Wednesday.

He was absent during the Islamic funeral prayer or adua for the late Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Adams Mahama, which was held at Bolgatanga on Sunday.

Afoko and the NPP General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong appear to have heeded the warning by incensed party activists in the region that they stay away from the burial and funeral activities of the late regional party chairman.

When Afoko was spotted in a picture sandwiched between Rear Admiral Mathew Quarshie, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and Kofi Portuphy, National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Chairman, during the state-organised religious activity at the Flagstaff House, the image was widely spread, triggering varied questions.

President John Mahama was conspicuously absent at the event which heralded the official three-day mourning for the 200 people who lost their lives in the Wednesday tragedy.

Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur led the solemn programme attended by members of the diplomatic corps, ministers of state, security service chiefs, the clergy and others.

For many, they had to take a close look to convince themselves that the man they were seeing in the picture was NPP National Chairman at the Flagstaff House.

He was also absent during the burial of the late regional party chairman but showed up when the late Theodosia Okoh, the nonagenarian designer of the national flag, was being offered a state pre-interment service at the State House recently.

He was then in the company of equally embattled General Secretary of the party, Kwabena Agyepong, image of which was shared by many social media patrons with political inclination.

Since the fatal acid attack on the late Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP and a subsequent takeover of the party head office by the Invisible Forces – a party security detail on guard duties at the location – the National Party Chairman and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong have not set feet at the place.

There have been widespread calls from party supporters for the exit of the duo, with the regional chairmen at the forefront, over the unending bickering in the party.

Not even the demand of party flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo that all should sheath their swords and the two persons given access to the office so they could perform their functions has reversed the status quo.

The National Chairman and the General Secretary continue to operate outside the national headquarters but honouring invitations for state functions as Paul Afoko did yesterday at the Flagstaff House.

With the General Secretary issuing guidelines for the conduct of Saturday’s parliamentary primaries of the party, it would seem that he intends to operate from outside the party headquarters for the long haul.

By A.R. Gomda

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