Awentami is his middle name which means “God is my protector”. Paul Awentami Afoko’s firm belief in the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition and his determination to work to return the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to power in 2016 makes him an ideal choice to assume the national chairmanship of the party.
No wonder it is his contention that his strategic No 3 position on the NPP ballot paper puts him way ahead of all the other three candidates seeking the position.
“… I have the trinity of our founding fathers; Danquah-Busia-Dombo which is the reason why I occupy the third position on the ballot sheet, which is also the winning number,” he told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Akofo is followed on the ballot sheet by incumbent First National Vice-Chairman, Mr Fred Oware, while incumbent National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, and Mr Stephen Ntim, occupy the first and second positions on the ballot sheet respectively.
He trusts that his success is very strategic because by ethnicity, it will defeat those who claim that the NPP is an Akan party. Defies Revolution
The man, Paul Afoko, who defied the PNDC Revolution and called on Ghanaians to boycott the revolution by laying down their tools as workers so that they could disarm J.J. Rawlings and his group through peaceful means, hails from Sandema in the Upper East Region of Ghana, precisely Builsa North district.
He went into exile as a result of his stiff opposition to J.J. Rawlings.
A staunch democrat, he comes from the Danquah-Dombo-Busia family and is a member of the National Council of the NPP representing the Upper East Region.
A businessman and a founder member of the NPP, he was a known supporter of then presidential aspirant, Mr Alan Kyerematen, for the 2007 NPP Presidential primaries.
Mr Afoko is the man who was manhandled at the 2007 presidential primaries of the NPP at the congress venue, the forecourt of the Great Hall of the University Of Ghana, on suspicion of inducing delegates to vote for Mr Kyeramanten.
It was later found out that what happened to Mr Afoko was a complete set- up and was well-executed with an announcement at the congress grounds that some people were trying to share money, despite protests by Mr Afoko that he was not having money that day and that when he needed to even buy “Waakye,” it was one of his aides, Issahaku Kotomah, who had to pay for him. Formidable, credible candidate
Paul is a good manager, a strategist, a people’s man full of energy, and has an organisational acumen. He is dynamic and visionary with a strong commitment to organisational and party-building skills, he tells the Daily Graphic.
He is a man who is fearless and ready to speak his mind at all times.
He is a good listener, very affable, and prepared to share ideas with people from all walks of life. New plan for power
He believes he is ordained to redeem the NPP from the shackles of opposition and recapture power from the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general election with his New Plan for Power (NPP), which is “reunite, rebrand, rejuvinate and reinvigorate the NPP for victory in 2016.”
The chairman aspirant, whose vetting was put on hold because of a petitioner’s request, insists that his position on the ballot paper has boosted his confidence.
Mr Afoko’s bid to contest the party’s chairmanship was challenged after one David Gyasi of both Accra and London petitioned the committee. After three weeks of bated breath, the committee cleared Mr Afoko.
In spite of the frustrations, Mr Afoko maintains that he remains focused on his new plan for power for the party in 2016.
“No one becomes a king on a silver platter, so Paul Afoko has the stamina; what is happening gives me more courage to forge ahead,” he declared. Congress at Tamale
An ardent believer and a true democrat, he is joyous at the party’s decision to hold its first-ever National Delegates Congress in Tamale in honour of one of its founding fathers, Chief Simon Diedong Dombo and former Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
“If after 60 years, the NPP has decided to hold its first delegates’ congress in the Northern Region, then I am exceedingly happy that the trinity has come together on my ballot paper,’’ he added.
Commenting on his chances, he concluded, “God is my protector. the battleground is the battle of vision and ideas. We must all engage in a clean campaign, devoid of mudslinging and personality attacks.”
Will the delegates endorse his candidature as the congress draws near? Time will tell