Johnson Asiedu Nketiah
Confusion is emanating from the camp of the main opposition political party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) after the flexing of political muscles by the National Chairman of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah following the ousting of the two main leaders of the party at the Parliamentary front.
The turning of Haruna Iddrisu and Mohammed Muntaka Muburak as backbenchers appears to have not gone down well with top members of the party including most parliamentarians in the Minority Caucus.
Haruna Iddrisu’s leasership as the leader of the NDC caucus in Parliament came to an end on Tuesday, January 24, 2022 when the Asiedu Nketiah-led national executive announced that it had effected changes in the leadership of the minority caucus.
The Tamale South lawmaker has since January 2017, served as the Head of the NDC group in Parliament but a in house coup has seen him and two others being replaced in the minority bench.
Within the NDC, the decision which was communicated by the General Secretary Fifi Fiavi Kwetey has shocked many as they had no idea what the executives were planning.
However, there is shock, anger which has greeted the removal of Haruna Iddrisu and Mohammed Muntaka as Minority Leader and Minority Whip respectively as MPs are demnaidng complete withdrawal of the new appointments with immediate effect.
A parliamentarian in the opposition side, Murtala Muhammed said, the members of the Minority caucus had no prior consultation with the party’s leadership about the decision to oust Haruna Iddrisu, Muntaka Mubarak and James Klutse Avedzi and replaced them with Cassiel Ato Forson, Kwame Agbodza and Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah respectively.
The flexing of poltical muscles by Asiedu Nketiah has ignited heated discussions and the reasons behind the move by Asiedu Nketiah and his cohorts.
But giving reasons for the changes, according to Asiedu Nketiah, the move is part of a process of restructuring that has been going on for the past year.
“We started more than a year ago, we started at the branch level. We have since done elections in about 40,000 branches and then from there we proceeded to the constituency level. We are done largely with all the constituencies, we have done regional elections and we just completed our national election and the next is to look at our leadership in Parliament. That is what we have just done,” he said.
Asiedu Nketiah further stated that the changes are significant to keep the party in the driving seat for the 2024 elections.
“We know for instance that going into election 2024, the economy is going to be the major battle ground and so many of the debates will focus on the economy. So you better put your best man in economy forward that is what we have done.
“We also looked at energy. You know the petroleum and electricity challenges, so we needed to settle on Kofi Armah Buah, our former minister to be the Deputy Minority Leader.
“The other area is infrastructure, Kwame Agbodza being our man in infrastructure should play a key role that generally is what informed the changes,” he added.
He also stated that the party wanted to ensure that there is regional representations in its leadership in Parliament, saying that “the Change has nothing to do with the performance of the leaders at all. What it has a lot to do about is that the environment is changing, so if you are a football coach and the team you are facing and the game style they are adopting is not in keeping with the players you have put out there, you will do yourself a lot of good.”
However, Cletus Avoka, MP for Zebilla in the Upper East region when asked on JoyNews as to whether he is willing to work with the new crop of leaders, he responded that there is the need for a meeting and discussion before he can decide.
He described the changes as unfortunate with explanation that “I am saying that this is not the time to change leadership. In the best interest of the party and the kind of elections we are going to have, I am saying that this is not the time for change of leadership
The NDC lawmaker wondered why the National Executives of the party could take such a decision without consultation with some of them in parliament.
He has described the move by Asiedu Nketiah as wrong and untimed since the party at the moment should be focusing on the NPP and not within the NDC.
Some people were also of the view that Asiedu Nketiah sacked Haruna Iddrisu to settle political scores since the latter did not back him in his campaign to become a National Chairman of the party.
By Vincent Kubi