General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Justin Frimpong Kodua (alias JFK) has reacted to comments made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo endorsing Eugene Arhin for the Awutu Senya West Parliamentary seat.
In an interview on Peace FM’s Kokroko, monitored by GhanaWeb, the NPP chief scribe referred to the party’s code of conduct for the internal presidential and parliamentary contest, reiterating that all persons must abide by it.
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He said the national party executives for instance must desist from acts that will suggest their open preference towards a particular candidate, insisting that they must be neutral at all times.
He cited cautions which have been issued to some members of the party including its Ashanti regional chairman Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi), Ekow Vincent Asafuah, Hopeson Adorye and the party’s NASARA coordinator for openly endorsing particular candidates.
On the specific issue of President Akufo-Addo’s endorsement, JFK said anyone unhappy with the comments should petition the constituency disciplinary committee for further actions to be taken.
“If you read the party’s code of conduct there is a part which addresses parliamentary primaries and complaints of violations. It says ‘complaints or violations or breaches of this code of conduct regarding parliamentary elections or primaries shall be handled in accordance with the party disciplinary and grievances procedure enshrined in Article 4 of the party constitution.
“Accordingly, any member of the party who alleges that there has been a breach of any provisions of this code of conduct by another member shall lodge a complaint/petition against that member with the respective constituency disciplinary committee through the constituency executive committee for the necessary action’.
“This means that if someone is unhappy with the comments by President Akufo-Addo, straight forward, the person can trigger it,” JFK said.
He further explained that in the case of Chairman Wontumi’s endorsement of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, a party member petitioned the executives using the necessary channels stressing that there are two different approaches of resolving breaches of the code of conduct.
JFK, however, noted that the provisions for addressing complaints were flawed in some areas.
“I see a lacuna in this case, because, how can you say that the president has said something you are unhappy about and it should be addressed at the constituency disciplinary committee even though he is not a member of the constituency?” he quizzed.
When host of Kokroko, Kwame Sefa Kayi further drew the General Secretary’s attention to a provision in the code of conduct that stipulates that no member of the party at all levels should use his public office or portfolio to promote the interest of a prospective parliamentary or presidential candidate in order to gain unfair political advantage, he responded that the party’s constitution also spells out the grievance procedure.
“Any party member should follow the grievances procedure which says you petition the constituency disciplinary committee if you are unhappy. If you feel the president does not fall under the constituency, you petition [the national].
“All cases we have addressed on breaches of the code of conduct has been based on petitions. Let me state again, that nobody is above the NPP constitution” he remarked.
President Akufo-Addo while commissioning the APPEB Cylinder Manufacturing Company Ltd., in Chochoe in the Awutu Senya West Constituency said his Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin, will perform excellently if given the opportunity to serve as a Member of Parliament.