Sir John Is A Pain In The Neck – Haruna Esseku

A founding father of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Haruna Esseku, has told XYZ News that the party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John, has always been a “problem” for the party. “How many times haven’t Sir John given us problems?” He wondered. “If you are a media person, you must know that here is somebody who is always creating problems,” the former NPP chairman bewailed in an exclusive interview with XYZ at his residence in Accra. According to him, “we have always had a problem or trouble with our current General Secretary”. “I’m sure if you are in the media, you can count about 10 or more from the last three, four years, since he has been Secretary. He has created problems for the party,” he stressed. Mr. Esseku said: “For example, [when] the National Executive Committee (NEC) meets, or the party meets, the National Executive Committee must approve of what has been said. The decision that’s [been] taken [must be] endorsed before it comes out [but] immediately the meeting ends, he feels that he is the Secretary so he should hint party members [about] what has been decided on”. The party elder, however, admitted that Sir John is now “trying to overcome [that behaviour]”. “He’s not doing it as he started”. He said the NPP has tolerated Sir John all this while because he has not yet infringed on the party’s Constitution in anyway. “We are not planning to sack him or something because he has not broken any law. The laws that if you cross[ed] in our constitution, people should call for your dismissal or something, he’s not done anything getting to that so he’s been talking”. Describing as “not right”, the current raging debate within the party - started by Sir John - about who becomes presidential candidate ahead of the 2016 elections, Mr. Esseku said: “I think it is too early to discuss who should contest what position. Let us all follow the Constitution…anybody who is interested in the NPP [and] about this candidature, I’ll recommend to them to get copies of our [Constitution]…and read who, what you should be before you can contest for any position and try to study the person looking for that job, whether he qualifies or not”. The debate started last week after Sir John told XYZ News in an interview that twice-defeated presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will definitely run for the 2016 elections, even though the former Attorney General has yet to make any such public statement. His comment has attracted both support and condemnation. While he has found allies in the Party’s Ashanti regional Chairman, F.F. Anto and founder-member Dr. Kwame Amoako-Tuffuor, other party stalwarts such as former Presidential Aspirant, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku - who is perceived to be still nursing a presidential ambition - have condemned Sir John for “jumping the gun” and showing disregard to “alternatives views” in the party, as far as the subject is concerned. Mr. Esseku is the latest to join the condemnation wagon. According to him, Sir John should not have made that comment considering the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo has publicly announced that he was taking some time off politics to reflect on his life and political career before announcing his future plans. “…It was absolutely wrong for Sir John to say that. Not because he’s just Sir John but because he’s General Secretary of my party. If anybody, a good member of the party, says this and he’s not an official, I don’t mind. I just will say it’s his opinion…but as the Secretary of the party, he knows what is going on within the party and some things you must do and must not do, so I don’t think it is quite right for him to have said so”. He believes the debate is being fueled by Sir John’s desire to retain his job at the Party’s forthcoming Congress where national executives will be elected for another four-year term. “People want to be heard to enhance their position in these elections. That’s my personal view. It’s partly to help them retain their positions. I don’t criticise them for saying those [things] because I believe it’s just an attempt to let the NPP members know that they are still seriously alive and seriously would want to contest again”.