“I am currently in London and just read the news of my appointment onto the committee online. I am sorry I cannot accept the offer because the Constitution does not permit chiefs to engage in politics.
I am willing to provide professional expertise to any government to serve the interest of Ghanaians but I cannot serve on any committee of any political party.” Togbe Afede told graphic online’s correspondent Mabel Aku Baneseh in a telephone interview.
“I am yet to receive a formal communication to that effect and have since called someone to forward the appointment letter to me so I can respond formally. But for now, I will decline the offer if indeed it exists,” Togbe noted.
Asked if he was not informed prior to the appointment, Togbe said, “I received a notification to that effect some weeks ago but I drew the attention of the person who contacted me to the constitutional provision precluding chiefs from engaging in partisan politics. Indeed, a code of ethics adopted by the National House of Chiefs, seeks, among others, to ensure compliance by chiefs with this constitutional provision. However, the person said the issue was at a consideration stage only for me to read about it in the media.”
Aside from the constitution barring him from actively serving political parties, Togbe Afede said even if the constitution did not bar him, he currently had numerous engagements as a businessman, and could, therefore, not accept the offer.
“I wish to assure Ghanaians and any government in power that I am available to offer advice that will propel development but I cannot serve on any political committee,” Togbe Afede added.
Citi News reported that the NDC had inaugurated a number of committees to help in the running of the party’s affairs.
It said the committee members were drawn from Parliament including defeated candidates at the party’s last congress.
According to Citi News, key among the committees was the Economic Committee which would be chaired by Vice President Amissah-Arthur with other members being, Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, the CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah and Togbe Afede XIV. The other committees are the Communication Committee, Election Committee, and Social Services Committee.
Some of the members in the Communication Committee are former National Security Minister, Kofi Totobi Kwakye, Communications Minister, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, Agric Minister, Fifi Kwetey and Trades Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah.
The National Organizer of the NDC, Kofi Adams, former National Organizer, Yaw Boateng Gyan, Member of Parliament for Gomoa Central, Rachel Appoh, among others will serve under the Election Committee.
The Social Services Committee has persons such as Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor, Gender Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, former Education Minister, Lee Ocran and Minister-designate for Health, Alex Segbefia.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who joined the Chairman, Kofi Portuphy to inaugurate the committees told Citi News, strict measures have been put in place to ensure discipline among members.
He said any member, who absents him or herself from meetings on three consecutive times, will be removed from the committee.
Asiedu Nketia also indicated that for the first time, the party has given responsibilities to Members of Parliament (MPs) who are serving on the various committees to play active roles in convening their meetings.
Regarding venues for meetings, the NDC General Secretary said the party has a head office with several committee rooms “so the committees will get places to hold their meetings.”
Asked whether Togbe Afede and some others whose names are on the list are NDC members, Asiedu Nketia said: “Some of the members of the committee are sympathizers of the party and they have agreed to support us. You will realize that some of these brains are on the economic committee so we invite them because of their expertise.”