Members of the New Patriotic Party Ashanti region are deeply worried about larger implications for the party following their flagbearer’s boycott of the Akwasidae festival last Sunday.
They are particularly uneasy because of what they see as gross disrespect to the Manhyia Palace and traditional authorities who owe allegiance to the revered Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II.
These concerned NPP supporters believe the action by Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, his Vice, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Acting Chairman Freddie Blay, Acting General Secretary John Boadu, Ashanti Regional Chairman Bernard Antwi Boasiako alias Chairman Wontumi and the entire regional executives will cost the NPP votes no matter how the NPP tries to massage the incident.
Nana Addo is already under pressure to personally apologize to the Asantehene by the close of the week. A group calling itself the ‘Royal Sons of Asante’ issued a statement yesterday threatening dire consequences if the issue is swept under the carpet.
“The party is already divided. Many people loyal to former President Kufuor are already angry and are contemplating not to vote in protest of the manner in which Nana Addo is treating them. Now he has landed himself in fresh trouble and with no other person that out King” one NPP activist told this paper.
Another asked, "How do you expect Nananom to react? We all saw them at Jake Obetsebi Lamptey’s funeral. And we know the NPP received invitation well in advance”.
"What does Nana Addo take us for? Everyone knows Ashanti region is the NPP’s stronghold. We gave the party votes that almost won elections in the last two general elections. And now he can openly snub and insult our King? We shall see”…angry Yaw Many in his mid-fifties told this paper at Manhyia.
Ordinary people in the streets of Kumasi are divided about the incident but many agree NPP might have to throw in the towel because Asanteman will obviously not sit down for anyone or group to look down upon their King and an institution that has earned international reputation.
“This very Akwasidae was so remarkable in the sense that, it marked the occasion of the 17th anniversary of Opemsour Sika Dwa wura and the ceremony pulled close to 60 (sixty) Paramount Chiefs from across Ashanti Region, parts of Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions respectively” the Royal Sons of Asante noted.
The Citizen's Mail has gathered that signatories to the statement, Maame Esther Agyeman, Yaa Wirekyiwaa Gaddafi and Agyei Amankwa Benjamin intend to take up the matter further if Nana Addo fails to apologize.
NPP’s performance in the Ashanti region has been dropping since Nana Addo became a Presidential candidate.
During the general elections in 2008, NPP secured 1,219,530 votes (72.53 percent) while the NDC then in opposition had 437, 243 votes or 26.01 percent.
In 2012, Nana Akufo Addo’s votes dropped to 1,531,152 votes, about 70.86% while the NDC made gains. It secured 612,616 votes representing 28.35%.
The governing NDC, which is banking hopes in massive infrastructure development in Kumasi and other parts of the Ashanti region is targeting one million votes. With the latest infraction against the Asantehene and the well-known antagonism against loyalists of former President Kufuor, Nana Addo’s performance in the Ashanti region is likely to drop further to the advantage of the NDC.
Ironically, these personalities mainly suspended Chairman Paul Afoko, 2nd Vice Chairman, Sammy Crabbe, General Secretary Kwabena Agyapiong led by former Chief of Staff, Kwadjo Mpiani graced the ocassion.
What is most likely to trigger general apathy and protest votes is the perceived proxy fight on behalf of the Okyehene.
This follows the near clash between a delegation of Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II and the Asanteehene at the funeral of the late MP, J B Danquah at Akyem Tafo two weeks ago.
The chaos, started as the representatives of the Asantehene at the funeral led by Asamponhene, Oheneba Kwadwo Afoduor, refused to stand on their feet during the arrival of the Okyenhene, an occurrence which infuriated the bodyguards of the Okyenhene. The bodyguards confronted the Asantehene’s entourage and threatened to remove the crown on the head of the Asamponhene sparking the scuffle.
A later attempt by the Otumfuo’s Asamponhene to broker peace with the Okyenhene proved futile as he was snubbed by the entourage of the Okyenhene.
Political observers say Nana Addo’s absence at the Akwasidae sends a stronger signal to the Asante Kingdom most especially because he is an Akyem and owes allegiance to the Akyem Abuaakwahene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II.
Paul Afoko recently revealed in an exclusive interview with Bola Ray on Starr Chat that Nana Akufo-Addo, snubbed efforts by the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to intervene in his “illegal” suspension. “There was an attempt…but unfortunately it didn’t work out…he [Otumfuo] did speak to [Nana Addo] but it didn’t work out”.Afoko told Accra based Starr FM.
Source: The Citizen's Mail
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