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24.03.2006 General News

Akufo Addo's Home Base On Fire

By Chronicle

Executives fired for chopping, get backing from minister. Special aide Amfo Kwakye mobilises macho men. New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters in Akyem Abuakwa who cherish their pride of place as the “Mecca of Democracy” under the Danquah/Busia philosophy says their pride is waning.

According to several supporters of the party in the area, the stories being peddled by the sacked three Abuakwa South Constituency NPP executive officers, following allegations of misappropriation of MPs common fund, which has spread like wildfire, is hurting their pride and standing in the party's way.

Additionally, more NPP supporters in the constituency and other constituencies are scattering as a result of the complaints the party executives misconduct has caused.

These became evident when The Chronicle conducted a follow-up in the Akyem Abuakwa Constituency and other parts of the Eastern Region after last week's vote of no confidence passed on the three constituency executives at Kyebi.

Some members of the party have made it clear that they will not allow a few recalcitrant members to drag the party's name in the mud, but will fight to ensure that it sustains development and power for a long time.

The chairman of the Council of Elders of Abuakwa South (NPP), Okyeheneba Yaw Takyi said” the party does not belong to one person or family, but rather anyone who believes in the ideologies of the Danquah / Busia tradition or principles. Therefore we will not sit down for the three to destroy the party.”

In direct reaction to this, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is the Foreign Minister called for an audit of his share of the MP's Common Fund, following allegations of misappropriation of parts of the allotment against his Constituency chairman, Mr. Kwesi Kyere, and two others.

The Minister told the Ghana News Agency, following reports of his funds being misapplied by his constituency executives that the allegations surfaced while he was out of the country attending a meeting of the International Working Group on the Ivory Coast crisis. He indicated that he was surprised at the allegation because it had come up earlier and had been dismissed by the East Akyem District Chief Executive (DCE), who described it as baseless.

“As far as I am aware, the allegation is indeed baseless,” Nana Akufo-Addo said in the statement, adding that his inquiries also indicated that no audit had taken place to establish any misappropriation of any part of his share of the Common Fund.

“I believe that an audit should be done to establish the truth or otherwise of this allegation and have so informed the District Chief Executive,”

Chronicle observed that the party office, which was locked out by the polling station chairman in the presence of Kyebi Police officers, was opened by some macho men, claiming Mr. Amfo Kwakye, the special Assistant to the MP, Nana Akuffo Addo, had instructed them.

Investigations reveal that over the weekend, the MP came to the constituency, where he held a meeting with the three-sacked executives leaving the six other executives and the council of elders, which move has incurred the wrath of the other six.

Meanwhile, the polling station executives have presented their resolution to the Eastern regional branch of the NPP. The resolution, was signed by Mr. Abu Bonsra, first vice chairman, Mr. Alex K. Frempong, second vice chairman, Ms. Emma Boateng assistant secretary, Mr. K. Oppong organizers, Nana Owusu Agyemang youth organizer and Ms. Georgina Anim, treasurer.

The signatories expect that the resolution would provide the regional executives the required basis for their unbiased enquiry and investigation to unearth the truth relating to the Abuakwa South Constituency fracas and called for early bye-election to fill the vacancies created by the dismissals.

They stated in the resolution that for sometime past, persistent rumours was rife within the constituency of alleged embezzlement of MPs Common fund by the constituency chairman and his two cronies.

It said peddlers of the stories managed to produce a list, suspected to be fictitious about the distribution of certain building materials. The known and recognized council of elders of the constituency, under the chairmanship of Okyeheneba Yaw Takyi, in a letter dated March 17 invited the constituency executives to a meeting to discuss the development.

By a letter dated March 10, the chairman, Mr. Kwasi Kyere, wrote to inform the chairman of council of elders without the knowledge and approval of his men and listed names of persons – mainly outsiders as fresh members of the council.

Kwasi Kyere, reiterated the inability and unpreparedness of the constituency executives to meet the council of elders which was also done without any due consideration and approval from the constituency executives. This also attracted a second letter from Okyeheneba Yaw Takyi.

The six constituency executives tried to hold a meting to find a unified approach to the development, but contrary to expectations, they met to find the constituency office locked by the secretary on the instruction of the chairman, Kwasi Kyere.

On March 17 the six executives, with the polling station chairman as well as the council of elders held a joint meeting, at which after lengthy and purposeful discussion, passed a vote of no confidence and called for the removal of the three, Kwasi Kyere (chairmen), Mr. Yaw Bampo Koranteng (secretary) and Awo Ntiamoa (women organizer).

The resolution also touched on a letter written by the MP, Nana Akuffo Addo on March 14th, which had a wide distribution and appeared to have dwelt on matters that were contrary to events in currency in the constituency.

The six retained constituency executives reacted by saying that the disbursement of the MPs' Common fund under discussion, should have been undertaken by the interim executive that ran the campaign, which earned the MP his victory in 2004 elections and not by Kwasi Kyere.

“How did it come about that the MPs special assistant Mr. Amfo Kwakye, authorized the cheque to be paid into the accounts of Abuakwa Network Ltd, Accra, operated by Kwasi Kyere” the fuming executives demand an answer.

Amfo Kwakye does not have the best of reputations, according to The Chronicle's independent assessment of the man who was the former Managing Editor of The Statesman, now mysteriously ensconced in the Minister's office as part of his 'Abuakwa mafia' cabinet.

What annoys the polling station chairmen most was the distribution of items in his July 2005 list in March 2006, since the issue came into the public domain, asking, “ what prompted Kwasi Kyere?” Another issue Chronicle learnt is a source of disquiet is the inability of the former chairman to release the distribution list for the October 2005 MPs common fund.

The fuming polling station chairmen warned that any attempt to air all developments in the party in the constituency, shall portray a very bad picture of all those involved in the allegation and the party as well.

They made it clear to the national and regional party executive that though they did not subscribe to the contents of the MPs letter, their move was to save his image, protect and defend his future aspirations.

According to them, their aim was also at cementing in the Abuakwa Constituency the fact that they cherished their pride in their place as the “Mecca of Democracy” under the Danquah/Busia philosophy.

“More essentially, we shall not condone corruption and allow the three persons to heighten acts that make our party unpopular in our rural areas,' they forcefully stated.