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27.08.2012 Politics

Drama At UFP Press Conference

By George Ernest Asare - Daily Graphic
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A press conference organised by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Council of Elders of the United Front Party (UFP) at the SSNIT Conference Hall in Kumasi on Saturday almost turned chaotic when six armed policemen from the Striking Force Unit of the Police Service blocked their way.

The press conference was to reinforce the dismissal of the flag bearer of the UFP, Mr Akwasi Addae, alias Odike, and the suspension of their general secretary, national treasurer and national organiser .

The policemen, who were led by one of the suspended UFP executives, Mr Abu Sadik, held the chairman of the party, Nana Agyenim Boateng, and his regional chairman at the car park of the SSNIT Conference Hall and prevented them from getting into the conference room.

Moments after Nana Agyenim Boateng reached the car park, around 12 noon, where some journalists had already gathered, Mr Abu Sadik who was in the midst of the Police, pointed at him, and in response, the Police surrounded him and ordered him not to get into the conference hall because there had been an order to stop the press conference.

According to the Police, they had been detailed by the Commander of the Striking Force to at all cost prevent the media encounter, and for more than an hour, the Police continued to block the way of the UFP executive .

It was the intervention of the Regional Police Commander that made it possible for the UFP executive to eventually make their way into the hall, where they announced the immediate suspension of three executive members; Mr Samuel Bekoe Owusu,general secretary, Mr Usman Innusah, national treasurer and Mr Abu Sadik, the national organiser.

The Chairman of the party, Nana Agyenim Boateng, who read the press statement noted that the decision to suspend the three executive was taken by both the NEC and the council of elders of the party.

Explaining, he said the three had connived with the dismissed flag bearer to make certain pronouncements about the party in the media, which is against the spirit of the party’s constitution.

Explaining further, he said, following the dismissal of the flag bearer last week , which was a collective decision by the NEC and council of elders, the suspended members made false and derogatory pronouncements against the NEC and council of elders on the airwaves.

“ By publicly supporting the dismissed flag bearer , coupled with their decision to challenge our collective decision regarding the dismissal of Mr Akwasi Addae, we have decided to suspend them from the party with immediate effect.

He said apart from their negative pronouncements, the three also organised some members whom they presented in the media circles as those who constituted the national executive council of the UFP.

He said apart from the three, all those who converged in Accra were family members of Mr Addae, and noted that “ by presenting unknown members as our national executives, they acted illegally so they cannot hold themselves as executive members of our party”

Surrounded by the regional chairmen from the Upper East, Mr Julius Abugri, Upper West, Mr Issaku Alhassan, Northern, Mr Imoro Fuseini, Western, W.O. Maxwell Adu, Volta, Paul Dzomeku, Central, Emmanuel Agyemang, and Eastern, Mr Albert Johnson, Nana Agyenim Boateng said in place of the general secretary, the NEC had appointed Mr Razak Kojo Poku to act in that capacity.

He also announced that the NEC would open nomination in the first week of September for party members interested to be elected as the party’s flag bearer to pick nomination forms to contest the position.

Earlier, the newly elected acting general secretary, Mr Razak Kojo Poku, said that their decision to dismiss Mr Akwasi Addae was irrevocable.

Explaining, he said the decision was not only collective by the NEC but also endorsed by their Council of Members who were present at the press conference.

“ Nothing can change our decision of dismissing Mr. Akwasi Addae from the party because he had proved that he is not capable of organising the party from the grassroots. He is yet to tour any part of the country, interact with party executives at the regional level and refuse to account for revenue collected on behalf of the party .

He said they were ready to contest the case in any court, and gave the assurance that by the end of September a new flag bearer capable of leading the party to victory would be elected.

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