The People’s National Convention (PNC) has suspended its General Secretary, Mr Atik Mohammed, for what the party explained as “gross misbehavior, misconduct and violating the party’s constitution.”
Mr Mohammed was suspended after a vote of no confidence was passed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) at the party’s extraordinary meeting held in Accra last Saturday.
The terse statement signed by the PNC Communications Director, Mr Emmanuel Wilson, indicated that Mr Atik Mohammed was accused of bringing the image of the party into disrepute.
The statement cited Mr Mohammed’s repeated invectives against the 2016 Presidential Candidate, Dr Edward Mahama, at NEC meetings.
He has also been discrediting Dr Mahama in public after the flag bearer was appointed as an ambassador-at-large by the President, the PNC statement has charged.
NEC members present
A total of 29 NEC members present included the substantive national officers, regional chairmen and secretaries of the PNC as well as some party nominees.
Expatiating further in a telephone chat with the Daily Graphic, the Communication Director indicated that the about seven-hour-long meeting was initially chaired by the National Chairman of the PNC, Mr Bernard Mornah, until voting time when Dr Michael Wombeago took over the chair.
Other members present at the crucial meeting included the PNC’s 2016 flag bearer, Dr Edward Mahama, the 2016 running mate, Mr Emmanuel Anyidoho, First Vice Chairman, Dr Michael Wombeago, Second Vice Chairman, Mr Henry Asante, and Third Vice Chairman, Hajia Ajara.
The rest were the PNC General Secretary, Mr Atik Mohammed, the National Treasurer, Mr Akane Adams, and National Youth Organiser and Women Organiser.
Main NEC agenda
According to Mr Wilson, the main agenda of the meeting was to assess the PNC’s performance in the 2016 election, work and plan ahead of its 2018 internal party elections, the party’s “strategic plan” and internal battles that have engulfed it lately.
Dr Nasigri Mahama, Mr Bernard Mornah and Mr Atik Mohammed were also subjects for discussion at the NEC meeting.
It was during discussions on the party’s internal issues, according to Mr Wilson, that Mr Mohammed was singled out for effortlessly running to the media with issues against other executives instead of following the party’s laid down procedure.
Mr Mohammed failed to survive a vote of no confidence by the PNC as a result of his public attacks on the party’s 2016 flag bearer following his ambassadorial appointment by President Akufo-Addo.
However, Dr Mahama and Mr Mornah survived the no confidence vote.
With an overwhelming majority, NEC was said to have also endorsed the decision by Dr Mahama to accept the position given him by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The medical doctor also took the opportunity to assure the party that he would work with its rules as well as support efforts to drive reforms to improve on its fortunes in the 2020 election.
The decision by the physician to accept the ‘ambassador-at-large’ appointment had attracted a barrage of criticisms from senior members of the PNC including its chairman, Mr Mornah.
However, Mr Mornah and other executive members who criticised the appointment survived the vote of no confidence.
But in a swift reaction, Mr Atik Mohammed has described the suspension as false.
In a Facebook post, he indicated that: “My attention has been drawn to some news that I have been suspended indefinitely. It is not true and indeed, no organ of the party save National Congress is clothed with such powers. I will officially be issuing a statement to this effect.”
He also told the Daily Graphic in an interview, that the outcome of the NEC forum was incompetent, illegal and, therefore, not valid.
“I have not done anything illegal or criminal and was not the subject matter for discussion at the said meeting,” he declared and disclosed that he would continue to work as the party’s general secretary.
Meanwhile, when the Daily Graphic reached Mr Mornah, he also indicated that the party was sacking everybody and he was the only one left to be sacked.
He indicated that as national chairman, he was going to use all legitimate means to reverse the illegality, saying: “If there is a misconduct at all, it must be referred to a disciplinary committee. If they do not reverse the illegality, I will sack myself.”
“If there were claims of misconduct, a disciplinary committee should have been constituted to look into the merits of the case and then report to the NEC which has the power to reject the report submitted to it by the disciplinary committee or otherwise. You don’t just jump up and suspend someone for misconduct without following the laid down procedures. Things are not done that way. If they do this to him then same can be applied to me. I have said it time and again that I should be blamed for Mahama not being President and not anyone,” he said.
“I cannot sit down and allow this illegality to happen in our party. It is very sad, shameful and pathetic for our democracy,” he added.
Party in ruins
Mr Mornah described the state of the party as one in ruins and indicated that Dr Mahama digressed from queries from the party executives and took to blaming the various leaders for their roles in the PNC’s defeat in the 2016 election.