95 MPs Back Removal Of Ofori-Atta – Says Majority Leader


Members of the Majority caucus in Parliament clamouring for the removal of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, from offices have been ballooning each day.

From the initial number of about 80, the number of New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs calling for the heads of the two ministers has jumped to 95, the leader of government business in Parliament who doubles as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has disclosed.

Reacting to the number of MPs from the majority caucus wanting the Finance Minister sacked, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who was speaking on Joy FM Wednesday morning, monitored by DGN Online said he does not have in hand the exact numbers.

He said “So I can’t speak to the exact number. What I can say is that, the caucus meeting we had yesterday [Tuesday], the overwhelming majority of the caucus members aligned with the request of the back bench.”

He however mentioned that when they met in caucus on Tuesday, the number was about 95 and only two MPs expressed concern about the process and procedure adopted by the people who addressed the press.

“The number was about 95 and it is only two people, who were unhappy with the process and procedure that the other group (that addressed the press conference) and the fact that they had not been consulted, so that was it. So the principle, was universally accepted, I don’t want to talk about numbers.”

Touching on the outcome of the meeting he had with the president, he revealed that President Akufo-Addo has made passionate appeal to the MPs to consider the timing for the removal of Ken Ofori-Atta.

He said the timing has to do with the ongoing discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which the Finance Minister was leading and they are getting closer to a deal.

The President also wants the members to consider the timing for the preparation of the 2023 budget, the impact of Mr Ofori-Atta’s removal on the economy, the impact on the budget and the crafting of the 2023 budget.

President Akufo-Addo, according to Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, made the “passionate plea” when he met with the caucus on Tuesday night after some members of the group had held a press conference to demand the sacking of Mr Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister, and Charles Adu Boahen, as a Minister of State at the Finance Ministry.

“I think that we will have to have a meeting again, digest what the President said and then we move forward.”

“Number one, just like I said, look at the timing, look at the timing of the discussions with the IMF, and look at the impact on the economy, the impact on the budget, the crafting of the budget. He [President Akufo-Addo] made a passionate plea and I think that we will have to have a meeting again, digest what the President said and then we move forward.”

On the aspect as to whether members were convinced about the President’s request, he said “No, after the president had spoken, nobody did express any contrary opinion, infact nobody spoke after the President had spoken, it was I [OKMB] as the leader on behalf [of the members] that thanked the president for being candid with us and we asked to recline, to consider and digest his plea.”

On the principle that the Finance Minister should step aside or be reshuffled out of the Ministry of Finance and that Mr Ofori-Atta was not the only person leading the IMF discussion and that there are other members, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s response was that:

“Well in a football match, if the team does not perform, we look at the key player, if they don’t perform and the goalkeeper concedes so many goals, we will blame the goal keeper, is that not the case, if the arrow head in the attack is not performing, we substitute him, is that not the case. You cannot say that there should be a complete overhaul. Sometimes the leader has a lot of influence over the entire team, so that is it. Indeed the group is not only talking about the Finance Minister, I guess you have heard that they have also cited the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance [Charles Adu Boahen].”

Last Tuesday evening, October 25, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Subin constituency in Kumasi, Eugene Boakye Antwi served notice that they are not backing down on decision for President Akufo-Addo to sack Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen.

“I can assure you that my colleagues who have appended their signatures will not back down. I’m telling you, free consultancy. We have all sat down and reflected, we have all sat down and analysed the situation, that the course the president is taking us, can only see a wipe out at the 2024 elections if we don’t take a decision now. So it is not about money or gift. We are worried as members of Parliament ” the lawmaker who is part of some MPs from the majority side calling on President Akufo-Addo to remove Ken Ofori-Atta said when speaking on Accra based a radio station, Citi FM on Tuesday.

According to him, they the NPP MPs are calling for parliamentarian as replacement and not someone who is not a lawmaker thereby they want President Akufo-Addo to take the “bold decision to remove Mr Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen from the Finance Ministry was for “the good and future of the NPP.”

He mentioned that that there are a lot of competent people who can replace Ken Ofori-Atta when he leaves Finance Ministry, saying that “The president has a pool of competent people, experienced people in the House of Parliament that can easily replace Ken Ofori-Atta.

“We want somebody in Parliament, we want somebody that we can see, we want somebody who respects Parliament.

“We as NPP members will be urging President Akufo-Addo to bring us an MP, somebody who understands the work of parliament, somebody who is going to be with us,” but refused to mention a name when asked by the host if whether he has a name in mind, he responded by saying that the name he has, he is not the one who appoints but they are praying for President Akufo-Addo to bring an MP.
Mr Boakye Antwi rejected suggestion that he is bitter because he was not reappointed as Deputy Minister in this second term of the President, noting “I have followed the president for two decades, when I met him, he was a foreign minister, I was his polling agent in Legon in 2007 [NPP presidential primary]. I am more interested in his legacy, than what people are talking about.

“I will say the person lacks intelligence. I did not go and beg Akufo-Addo for the position of a deputy minister, my record as a deputy minister is for all to see at the Works and Housing Ministry. You can go and see competence, you can go and see honesty.

“The president appoints, if he is not happy with you, he won’t appoint you, that is a matter for the president. We don’t write exams to be ministers.

“Why should I be worried (that I am opposing his choice of Finance Minister because he did not retain me as Deputy Minister), are all the ministers competent than me, are they more exposed than me or what. Don’t let us bring in these debates, the president has the power to appoint and he disappoints, that is his business. I am talking about my party, I am talking about the future direction of this government, that we want to continue to win successive elections.

“If we are going to do so, then what we ought to do is to let the President sit up and take a bold decision in the interest of the party, like I said earlier elsewhere, we are running a democracy, not a family dynasty, it is as simple as that.”

By Vincent Kubi