CPP in turmoil: Bright Akwetey, others fight Kabila, Chairperson

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All seem not well with the Convention People’s Party (CPP) as infighting is preventing the party to know the clear way ahead, few months into the 2020 general election.

Strong division within the party is preventing them from fostering unity in building the party, which has become a pale shadow of itself for some time now. With less than seven months into the 2020 general election, infighting is preventing the party from organizing its national congress to elect National leaders, flagbearer and to hold parliamentary primaries or select parliamentary candidates. The party is also currently suffocating on a court injunction that is adding insults to their injury.

Court Action

Two leading members of the party, Bright Akwetey, Chairman of the party’s Legal and Constitutional Committee, and Yaw Asamoah, Central Regional Chairman, have filed a writ against Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim Haruna, Acting National Chairman,  Kwabena Bomfeh, Acting General Secretary and the party prohibiting them from holding national congress which was originally scheduled for March, 2020.

The plaintiffs in a statement of claim prayed the court for an order declaring the 2019 Regional elections conducted by the party as legally and constitutionally flawed.

They further sought an “order declaring the CPP Central Committee as constituted by the first and second defendants on or around November 8, 2019 with the inclusion of the newly elected Regional Chairperson as improperly constituted and a violation of the Constitution of the Party.”

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They also asked the court to declare every, and all decisions taken by the said Central Committee with the participation of the newly-elected Regional Chairpersons in 2019 as null and void seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining and prohibiting the first and second defendants from going ahead to organise and conduct a national congress in the name of the Party with the present alleged improperly elected Regional Chairman and the Central Committee (CC).

The court granted the injunction ordering the “respondents whether by themselves, supporters, officers, agents, employees howsoever described or by whomsoever described refrain from taking any steps or setting in motion or continuing any activities, forming bodies or committees with the purpose of opening the registration, nominations or paving the way for the National Congress and National Delegates Congress of the Convention People’s Party.”

The court further restrained the “Central Committee as constituted by the 1st and 2nd Defendants/Respondents with the participation of the newly elected Regional Chairmen from functioning and taking decisions on behalf of the 3rd Defendant.”

Party office scuffle

Last Friday, May 8, Acting General Secretary Kwabena Bomfeh kicked out the party’s Chairman of the Legal and Constitutional Committee and three-time failed flagbearer aspirant, Lawyer Akwetey, and others from holding a meeting at the party’s office. The Bright Akwetey group led by the party’s elected third vice chairman who doubles as acting First Vice Chairman, Alhaji Amadu Tijani Abdul-Rahaman, had wanted to hold a meeting to discuss modalities towards the party’s preparation for the general election. However, Kabila, as the Acting General Secretary is affectionately called reported the incident to the Police operations unit who immediately deployed men to the CPP headquarters to prevent the meeting from happening.

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Flying statements

The Bright Akwetey group, notwithstanding being thrown out of the party’s headquarters, still had a meeting elsewhere after which they released a statement convening a CC meeting. The statement, under the signature of Alhaji Tijani scheduled the meeting for May 14 at the party’s head office. Agenda for the meeting, a copy of which is with the Evening Mail, was to discuss matters relating to national congress and others affecting the party.

However, a counter statement, signed by the Acting General Secretary, asked members of the party and the public to disregard the invitation.

“All activities, meetings and purposes of the Party are coordinated through the National Secretariat under the capable stewardship of the Acting General Secretary. Anything else from whoever without the appropriate Party seal should be treated with contempt,” the statement added.

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Way forward

Central Regional Chairman of the party, speaking with the Evening Mail, said they conveyed the meeting because the party has timelines to meet. He stated that the court order only restrained the Acting National Chairperson and the Acting General Secretary and so activities of the party must go on. He indicated that the Acting First Vice Chairperson acts in the absence of the Chairperson and was therefore not wrong in calling for last Friday’s meeting and the subsequent CC meeting.

Mr. Asamoah, who has declared his intention for contesting for the National Organiser of the party and a plaintiff to the court suit, has, however, said they are ready for an amicable and out of court settlement if the party’s Council of Elders will intervene. Admitting that the party has a lot to do within a short time, he entreated both sides to bury the hatchet and foster unity for the party. “Going to court was not an easy decision. But we had to take that route to get the right thing done. For me I am ready for an out of court discussion if both sides will be ready,” he told the Evening Mail.

He has, thus, called on the party’s National Council of Elders to intervene.

 

 

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