National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has said that all the challenges that came up following the removal of Haruna Iddrisu, James Kluste Avedzi, and Muntaka Mubarak as Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, and Minority Chief Whip respectively, have been resolved.
To that end, he said that the party and the Minority caucus have passed a resolution to rally behind the new minority leadership.
After a crunch meeting on Monday, February 6, Mr Asiedu Nketia said “The meeting was called by the Council of Elders, the National leadership, and our caucus in Parliament to announce a resolution of what was perceived as an essentially threatening crisis…
“You can see from the enthusiasm that the challenges that arose out of the announcement of the new leadership of our causes in Parliament have all been resolved. All concerns have been addressed so we are just looking forward.”
The changes that were made resulted in sharp division among the opposition lawmakers.
For instance, Asawase Member of Parliament Muntaka Mubarak told national executives of the party that they could just remove the leadership of the Minority merely by writing a letter to them.
“If you cannot write a letter to appoint, how can you write to disappoint?” He asked at a press conference in Parliament on Thursday.
Muntaka was unhappy with the changes that have been made to the leadership of the Minority by the party.
He believed that the decision was made by a few executives although the statement announcing it was signed by the General Secretary Fifi Kwetey.
He added “We don’t want to create enmity among us unnecessarily, we believe that the right process should be followed.”
He further stated ” If the right process is followed we will be happy and thank them for the opportunity to serve. We hope that they will help fast-track the hearing of the issues.”
Over sixty of the NDC Mps signed a petition to the party executives to reverse their decision.
According to them, the decision is unpopular for which they wanted it reversed.
Some of the NDC MPs including Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed expressed shock at the decision by the NDC to change the party’s leadership in Parliament.
Speaking on TV3‘s News 360 on Tuesday, January 24 after news on the decision broke, the Tamale Central MP said there was no consultation whatsoever with the caucus before the release.
“Every single Member of Parliament is surprised,” he said, “And I can tell you that even those who have been proposed to take leadership, some of them are surprised that such a proposal is made without even consulting them.”
He condemned the mode of communication, saying as an MP he got wind of the decision on social media like many other NDC MPs.
“That is not how things are done,” he fumed.
“The NDC is a democratic party. We have touted ourselves as the pacesetters of this democracy. The NDC gave birth to the 1992 Constitution for which reason we have all collectively agreed to chart the path of democracy.”
He, therefore, indicated that NDC should be the last to disregard democratic tenets and by making such a decision without consulting the group – or caucus – it affects, to him, smacks of disrespect.
The former Nanton MP said his experience of having been in the Sixth Parliament and even the Eighth Parliament tells him that there is active consultation between the party’s leadership and the caucus prior to such decisions.
“How do you choose leaders for a group without consulting that group?” he wondered.
“Who told you that the group will be comfortable with the people you have chosen? Now if the group were not comfortable with the people you have chosen, then that will be the beginning of a failure of that particular leadership.”
Also, Member of Parliament for Agotime Ziope, Charles Agbeve demanded explanations into the decision.
Mr Agbeve said the NDC lawmakers were surprised following the announcement of the changes because consultations were not done on this matter.
He told TV3 in an interview that “I am flabbergastered, the news hit me because it is one of the last news I am expecting at this time, and so I am surprised.
“It took me a long time to really appreciate the news because normally, the national executives will engage the leadership of Parliament and if leadership thinks the engagements, they can’t get to a consultation, they meet the whole caucus and so, I can count countless engagements between the caucus and the national executives on all issues.
“There are issues when they come up, leadership thinks let us take some advice from the national executives and then they give the direction. So one would have thought that if there is going to be a shake-up like this, there would have been some engagements and that engagement would have watered down the shock and surprise.
“You will know there is going to be some changes here and there and then people will make inputs and suggestions but this was not done and I will like to know what went into this thinking, I will want some explanations, that will give all of us reasons to support it. ”
The National Chairman of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the decision was taken based on the current trend of debate on national issues.
“The debates and the other discussions will focus on the economy so you need to put your best man in the economy forward, that is what we have done,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.
“We also looked at energy. These petroleum and electricity challenges and so we needed to settle on Kofi-Armah Buah, our former Energy Minister to be the Deputy Minority Leader and then the other area is infrastructure, Kwame Agbodza being our man in infrastructure should play a key role. So that generally is what informed the changes.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana
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