Maxwell Kofi Jumah THE ASHANTI regional branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has indefinitely suspended 17 members in the Asokwa constituency in Kumasi for gross misconduct.
The 17 who were polling station executives of the party in the constituency were suspended for breaching article 4 sub-section 7 of the party's constitution.
According to a statement signed by Sam Cudjoe, Regional Secretary of the party, the decision was made at an urgent meeting of the Regional Executive Committee (REC) on February 7 in Kumasi.
The REC which comprises 10 regional executives of the party, the party's Members of Parliament (MPs) in the region, council of elders, constituency chairmen and other recognized persons is the highest regional decision making body.
The statement named the affected persons as Isaac Appau, Nana Yaw Adarkwa, Augustine Sarfo, Adu Asare Bediako, Osei Effah Amponsah and Agya Boakye.
Others are Florence Barnie, Gyamfi K. Akowuah, Michael Williams, Emmanuel Adomako, Kofi Ampong and Gyasi Nimako.
The rest are James Otchere, Frank Danso Bosompem, Lydia Effia Amponsah, Kofi Asenso Mensah and S.K Duah.
These persons reportedly disregarded provisions of article 4 sub-section 7 of the party's constitution which forbids members among other things from violent, dangerous and intimidatory conduct against another member, willful damage to party property and campaigning against the party's candidate in elections.
Besides unlawfully locking the party's constituency office, the statement said the suspended members fomented trouble in the constituency during last year's elections by openly campaigning against the party.
The statement which was copied to the national chairman and secretary respectively, Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, council of elders and founding members of the party in the region, asked the affected members to take note of the suspension and stay away from the party's activities in the constituency accordingly.
Osei Effah Amponsah, spokesperson for the suspended members told DAILY GUIDE that they would disregard the decision to suspend them indefinitely for gross misconduct.
He said apart from the fact that the letter was written on a poor letterhead without a date and reference number, the wording itself was vague and incomprehensible.
According to him, they still consider themselves legitimate members of the party in the constituency because to the best of their knowledge, they have not misconducted themselves in any way which breaches article 4 sub-section 7 of the party's constitution.
“We will do everything possible within the confines of the party's constitution to revoke the so-called REC decision to suspend us indefinitely for gross misconduct,” the spokesperson stated emphatically.
The 17 members, DAILY GUIDE learnt, were indefinitely suspended following a strong-worded petition to the REC by Maxwell Kofi Jumah, MP for the area.
The former deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, the paper gathered, threatened to resign as the party's MP for the area should the party fail to dismiss the 17 members.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that relations between Jumah and the party's constituency chairman, Asare Bediako, had for some time now been bad, a development which somewhat affected the party's fortunes in the 2008 elections.
Sources said countless efforts by party bigwigs in the region to amicably resolve the impasse have proved futile as the two parties have both taken an entrenched position.
Whereas the 17 members insisted on the dismissal of the constituency chairman before peace could return to the constituency, Jumah strongly recommended that the affected members be sacked with immediate effect.
Unable to settle the matter amicably, the members allegedly campaigned openly against the party in the just ended polls, especially in the parliamentary polls.
From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi