Haruna Iddrisu and Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka
There appears to be a soft coup launched against the leadership of the Minority in Parliament by the new breed of national executives of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), undertaking surprising changes in the party’s parliamentary leadership.
An exceptionally well resourced dark art operation, the party has chosen to replace charismatic Haruna Iddrisu, who is the NDC MP for Tamale South, with the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, to lead the Minority Caucus.
In a letter dated January 23, 2023 and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, the NDC said the MP for Ajumako Enyan Esiam would become the new Minority Leader when the House resumes on February 7, 2023.
The letter, signed by the General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, said Ato Forson will be deputised by Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah of Ellembelle Constituency.
In furtherance of the covert strategy, the NDC has also dropped its MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka as Minority Whip, replacing him with Kwame Governs Agbodza of Adaklu Constituency.
The MP for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim and Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah of Ada Constituency maintained their positions as First Deputy Whip and Second Deputy Whip respectively.
“The new leadership would be charged to recommend consequential changes in the Ranking membership to Headquarters of the party for approval,” the NDC letter noted.
The move has come as a surprise to some NDC MPs, who have expressed misgivings and described it as a “coup d’état” in the parliamentary leadership of the Minority group.
The NDC, in another letter addressed to James Klutse Avedzi, explained that the reason for the changes in its parliamentary leadership is part of the “re-organisation process of the NDC to reposition the party better” for the 2024 general election.
According to the letter sighted by DAILY GUIDE, it has become necessary to re-deploy the MPs affected by the new changes in line with the re-organisation agenda.
The party has long been looking for an opportunity to ditch Mr. Haruna Iddrisu and his lieutenant, Alhaji Muntaka, with some elements of the NDC accusing them of being in bed with the government.
In September 2021, Haruna Iddrisu was singled out for accusation of bribery by the pro-NDC newspaper, The Herald, which the Tamale South MP described as “malicious, mischievous and a pack of lies.”
The newspaper had reported that some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) named the Minority Leader in a GNPC bribery scandal, in furtherance of the plot to get him removed.
Mr. Iddrisu, in a statement, said the publication was not only false, but unfounded and intended to malign his hard-won reputation.
“The fact that the writer mysteriously omitted his by-line shows his or her malevolent intent and points to the fact that the publication is a fabrication.
“I wonder why the writer would want to hide under the cloak of anonymity, if he or she were confident of the news story,” he said in a press release reacting to the publication.
“The said publication is nothing but falsehood calculated at tarnishing my hard-won reputation and to bring me into disrepute and public opprobrium. It also exposes the general lack of knowledge and understanding of the workings of Parliament,” he stated further.
He called on the general public and his party faithful to disregard and treat the publication with the utmost contempt.
“It is also a premeditated effort to place a wedge among us as the Minority Group, cause disunity within our Caucus and make us incapable of holding the government accountable for its policies and decisions – which is one of our key responsibilities,” he added.
Concerned Dagbon Youth
Meanwhile, a group calling itself Concerned Dagbon Youth (CDY) is demanding an explanation from the NDC leadership over its “disastrous decision.”
In a statement signed by the group’s president, Alhassan M. Alhassan, the CDY said, “Again, we have taken note from reputable sources of this delusional cabal’s decision to steer the ship for a selfish individual to sponsor a candidate against Honourable Haruna Iddrissu.”
“We can assure them that we are fully armed and will confront them rigorously in any of their evil machinations. We strongly hope that the NDC leadership will heed our call and take the necessary steps to avoid a hostile reception from the people of Dagbon,” the statement indicated.
According to the group, its members have “observed with regret and dismay a statement sanctioned by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, NDC. We take note of this reshuffle and the ill-motives that prompted this action.”
The CDY said the members believed that the removal of Haruna from his current position is to “cripple” him, having been engineered by “tribal machination, which will harm not only him but the NDC in its entirety.”
“As a political party that promotes itself as a welcoming political party for all tribes and especially minority groups in Ghana, the NDC should be the last to take such an action motivated by tribalism and favouritism.
“We’ve learned that the decision to remove him was orchestrated by a few delusional top members who have joined a cabal, believing they have captured the party and will use it to appease the whims of one selfish person.
“The Honourable Haruna Iddrisu represents hope for this group, as well as a proud tradition and culture, and we will resist any attempt to derail him. We cannot remain silent while Hon. Gangdu is mistreated! As a result, we regard any attempt to discredit him as ethically dubious,” the statement maintained.
By Ernest Kofi Adu