NPP fights over party cash as cracks resurface

afoko-agyepongThe opposition NPP has descended into another round of party in-fighting as top party officials trade counter-accusations of mismanagement of party cash.

A statement from the office of the National Chairman appears to have blown out the internal financial matters into a renewed media war among factions in the party.

Paul Afoko in his statement is warning punitive action will be taken against the rank and file of the party found to have embezzled funds.

A statement signed by the Spokesperson of the National Chairman, Nana Yaw Osei said, “this is the only way to ensure that monies belonging to the party and entrusted in the hands of those whose responsibility it is to perform certain functions for and on behalf of the party do not squander such resources.”

But in a counter-accusation, the First Vice Chairman of the party Freddie Blay says the National Chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyepong are mismanaging funds.

Paul Afoko has emphasised that any party member who embezzles party money or misuses party resources “must be seen as an enemy to the party’s chances to the 2016 general elections”.

The National Chairman says the internal party cleansing of corruption is based on the incorruptibility of its 2016 flagbearer.

“We have a flagbearer who is incorruptible, and it is the expectation of the National Chairman that all party members, especially office holders at all levels, will emulate the incorruptible nature of our flagbearer” the statement added.

Although the statement does not make specific alegations, the spokesperson for Paul Afoko condemned the First National Vice-Chairman Freddie Blay for sidelining the process of withdrawing money of the party’s account.

“It has never been the practice that the Vice-Chairperson or the first Vice-chairperson will be a signatory to a party account,” he said on Joy News Wednesday.

Freddie Blay expressed disappointment that the National Chairman and General Secretary are using the police to tackle an internal party matter.

He told Joy News Kwakye Afreh Nuamah that Mr Afoko has reported the matter to the police CID who have invited him for questioning.

He said the two national executives used one Baah Acheamfour to lodge a complaint at the police station accusing Freddie Blay for corruption.

Freddie Blay says he told the police “if it is invitation I am declining but if they are arresting then I have no choice. They should come and arrest me”.

The NPP politician is accusing Mr Afoko and Mr Agyepong of rather hijacking the management of the party’s funds and spending money without rendering account to the National Steering Committee.

“They have written letters to the various banks that they are the only two people that should be running it….that is what they are doing” he said.

He says the party treasurer has refused to pay some five million cedis into an account controlled by Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong.

It is because they fear the two National Executives will use the money without the knowledge of the Treasurer or Steering Committee, Freddie Blay said.
“We don’t know how it is spent. The Treasurer doesn’t know…and according to the Treasurer, part of the money has been misused”.

Responding to the allegations, a shocked Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Ntiwul, said he was outraged by the recent developments in the party.

He said that allegations of financial impropriety came up at the National Executive Committee. A five-member committee was formed to look into the matter and is yet to present its report, he revealed.

“Änd somebody issues a public statement on the very work the committee is doing? I am shocked”.

But Dominic Nitiwul declined to talk about party finances in public.“Ït not wise, it is not in the interest of the party”, he maintained.

He would also not confirm the claim by the National Chairman that the monthly financial support from the party’s Members of Parliament has ceased since February 2015.
“They should all seize talking, they are doing the party a disservice!” the Deputy Minority leader stressed.

The NPP descended into severe party dispute after one section including Freddie Blay began pushing for the exit of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong whom they accuse of sabotaging the party ahead of 2016 general elections.

The push started after the tragic death of the Upper East regional chairman Adams Mahama in May this year.

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