President Nana Akufo-Addo has been having his way with the New Patriotic Party ever since Mr Paul Afoko and Mr Kwabena Agyepong were removed as chairman and general secretary, respectively, former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani has said.
"Once they [Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong] were removed, the candidate [Nana Akufo-Addo] had his way, and this has continued up to this time", Mr Mpiani told Joy News' PM Express programme.
In his view, Mr Alan Kyerematen, who recently resigned from the NPP to pursue a solo presidential ambition, was right when he accused a select few of "hijacking" the party.
"To some extent, yes", Mr Mpiani responded to a direct question on that, explaining: "I think the party’s problems deepened the very day the party decided to sack its Chairman [Paul Afoko] and General Secretary [Kwabena Agyapong], which I believe was unconstitutional under our own party rules, but then the party did it".
"Unfortunately", he noted, "some members, including members of the group to which I belong, take pride in this by saying that they were able to remove these people".
In Mr Mpiani's opinion, "as soon as the party removed these people, they gave the party to one man, who was the candidate at that time, and who is the president at this time, and this is the problem we have in the party which we are not confronting".
"And, if we don’t confront this problem, we are going to have more problems within the party", he warned.
Responding to a direct question as to whether the Akufo-Addo faction within the NPP are the hijackers, Mr Mpiani answered: "What I am saying is that there was this problem, and the party, in its wisdom, decided to give the party to the Candidate Akufo-Addo, who’s now President Akufo-Addo".
Pressed further by host Evans Mensah for clarity about whether he meant Mr Akufo-Addo was the party’s problem, Mr Moiani said: "He is part of the problem. All of us are part, and he is part of the problem".
"There have been problems with the party except that those of us in the party are trying to behave like ostriches and not seeing what’s in the party", he complained.
On Mr Kyerematen's resignation from the party, Mr Mpiani said: "I was not too much surprised about what happened because I have been telling colleagues that the way the party is going, if we are not lucky, there are going to be more serious upheavals in the future".
"I have had the occasion of talking to my colleagues even at the Council of Elders that we must sit up and try to confront the issues in the party. If we pretend that everything is OK, we’re going to regret it in the future. Unfortunately, some people didn’t, sort of believe what I was saying, and this is one of the outcomes of what is happening in the party", he pointed out.
"Unfortunately", he noted, "the party has become a sort of club for a few people within the party, where decisions are taken by them, and then all members are supposed to comply with those decisions. People are not able to come out openly to protest, but those of us sitting back hear a lot of complaints from a lot of members of the party, including even those at the highest echelon of the party. And, therefore, some of us know that all is not well within the party.”
He urged the party to go back to basics.
"We should try to recover. The party has its antecedents which go as far as the 1950s when we became a United Party, and it has a very long history. And, therefore, I think we should go back to our beliefs and try to live according to our beliefs. If we do that, we must be able to recover".