National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia has said he was confronted with a situation where he needed to ensure that the previous Minority Leadership was changed or he resigned as National Chair of the NDC.
But he said, he was not ready to resign hence, had to ensure that Haruna Iddrisu, Muntaka Mubakark, and James Kuste Avedzi were replaced as Minority Leader, Minority Chief Whip and Deputy Minority Leader respectively.
Addressing the NDC UK/Ireland Chapter during a visit to London after accompanying former president John Dramani Mahama for a public lecture engagement at Chatham House, Mr Nketia said “My priority in Parliament is to see our parliamentary caucus working together and also cooperating with the Speaker of Parliament. Why did we struggle to get an NDC person elected as a Speaker of Parliament?
“There are certainly some advantages and those advantages can be tapped into when your leadership is cooperating with the speaker. So we cannot have a situation where NPP is cooperating with the speaker and our NDC leadership has challenges with the speaker and if you are given a party whose leadership in Parliament is not working together, what will you do? You make the changes or you resign and I am not about to resign.”
Earlier, Mr Asiedu Nketia explained the decision to make the changes saying, that the key topics that come up for debates lately centre on the economy, energy and infrastructure.
To that end, he said the party felt it necessary to get their best men who are on top of these issues forward.
He told said on Tuesday, January 24 that “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.
“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.”
Some Members of Parliament for the NDC raised concerns against the changes.
For instance, MP for Agotime Ziope, Charles Agbeve has demanded explanations into the decision by national executives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to change the leadership of the Minority in Parliament.
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 General Secretary of the National Democratic Congres (NDC) Fifi Kwetey explained the reason for the changes.
He stated that the decision is to reposition the party for the elections 2024.
Apart from replacing Haruna Iddrisu with Ato Forson, the party has also removed James Klutse Avedzi as Deputy Minority Leader.
He has also been replaced with Ellembelle Member of Parliament Kofi Armah Buah.
‘It has become necessary for you to deploy you from your current position as Deputy Minority Leader with immediate effect,” a statement signed by General Secretary of the party Fiifi Kwetey said on Tuesday, January 24.
I wish on behalf of the party to express our deepest appreciation to you for your service over the years in this capacity,’ the statement added.
It further said ” please kindly arrange with the new officer to effect the necessary handing over processes. Please accept our assurance of the highest regard.”