The decision of former President Kufuor to honour the invitation extended to him by State Protocol to attend the swearing in of the President-elect, John Dramani Mahama, in his capacity as a former head of state, has irked the youth of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who are voting with their feet over the decision of their former leader to honour the invitation.
A meeting of the National Council of the New Patriotic Party, held in Accra on Wednesday, reaffirmed its backing for the petition filed by the three petitioners -Messrs Nana Akufo-Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey -at the Supreme Court, challenging the validity of the results of the 2012 presidential election, as declared by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Djan.
The National Council, which is the highest decision-making body of the party, other than the National Delegates Conference, also decided and directed that the party should boycott the planned January 7 inauguration ceremony of President John Dramani Mahama and Kwesi Amissah Arthur. The party also barred its parliamentarians from attending the ceremony.
"We take this important decision in order to underline the critical principle of any democracy that the results of an election should reflect the voice of the majority of voters, not the voice of those who count, collate, or declare the results. It is our contention that the declaration made by the Electoral Commission did not reflect this principle, and hence, our challenge in the Supreme Court," a statement signed by the General Secretary of the party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, said.
Though former president Kufuor was part of the National Council that took the decision to boycott the swearing-in of the president-elect, he has changed his mind and decided to attend the ceremony in his capacity as a former head of state and elderly statesman, positions which rise above partisan politics.
He is not going as a party member per say, but the edict of the party was for all party members not to go, so those who have received invitation in their capacity as party members such as Chairman Obetsebi-Lamptey, who might have received one in his capacity as the party Chairman, and Sir John, who has received one in his capacity as a General Secretary, wouldn't honor those invitations, because that is the edict of the party, the spokesman of President Kufuor, Frank Agyekum, told Citi FM yesterday.
According to him, ex-President Kufuor is in a special category, and his attendance of the inaugural ceremony has been conveyed to the leadership of the party, who agreed that he should go.
But a section of the party youth, led by Hopson Adoye, would not accept this explanation, insisting that the former head of state should not attend the ceremony. The Hopson Adoye group yesterday besieged the Airport West Residence of Mr. Kufuor, demanding that he should not attend the state function. Efforts by The Chronicle to speak to Mr. Adoye were not successful, as he failed to answer our call.
Mr. Kufuor's spokesman, Frank Agyekum, however, confirmed to The Chronicle in a telephone interview that the youth group came to the residence of the former president, but did not give any further details.
The Communication Director of the party, Nana Akomea, also told The Chronicle that Hopson Adoye's group did not get the details before going to the former President's residence. According to him, Mr. Kufuor has been invited to the ceremony as a former Head of State, and that the party has given him the go-ahead to honour the invitation.
This, he noted, was explained to the youth when they went to Kufuor's residence, and they understood it. According to Nana Akomea, the swearing in of the President-elect would have no effect on the case they have filed at the Supreme Court, and urged the youth to exercise restraint.