The Managing Editor of The Insight, Kwasi Pratt Jnr says the decision by top hierarchy of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to remove the Tamale South Member of Parliament (MP) Haruna Iddrisu as Minority Leader was a reckless move.
According to him, the party could have adopted a better strategy to get him out of the position than the coup embarked on by the NDC National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and his cohorts.
Mr Pratt described Mr Iddrisu as primus inter pares because he is a huge personality in the Northern Region therefore the NDC should have considered the political circumstances that exist prior to taking the decision to remove him as the Minority Leader in Parliament.
He believes that the modus of operandi adopted has given room for all manner of speculations against the party.
Speaking on the Alhaji and Alhaji show on Saturday, January 28 Mr Pratt said “Haruna Iddrisu may have all his faults but he is the primus inter pares in the Northern region. I have been to Tamale on many occasions, I went to school in Tamale, I know Tamale fairly well. This is a man who comes to Tamale and he doesn’t drive a car, I have seen him riding just an ordinary bicycle moving from place to place holding caucuses in the streets, playing cards with members. I have seen him on a motorbike going to funerals and so on.
“His popularity is legendary and any time he has been touched there have been repercussions. He is not God, he is not all-knowing, he is not omnipotent, he is not omnipresent, he can be removed but if you want to remove him there are things that you have to do knowing the political circumstances. Were those things done?
“This is a reckless move, absolutely reckless move. So what have you achieved? You have created conditions for all manner of speculations. Yesterday, I was listening to some of my friends in the NPP discuss this matter, come and see, it is like they have won a bonanza. One of them actually went to the extent of saying John Mahama directed this move because he has a rift with Haruna, he wants to show Haruna some sense. This is not true, John Mahama was not comfortable with this move.”
Besides Haruna Iddrisu, Muntakla Mubarak and James Kluste Avedzi have also been removed as Minority Chief Whip and Deputy Minority Leader respectively.
Their removal has divided the Minority caucus with some petitioning the party against the decision.
For instance, Zebilla lawmaker, Cletus Avoka said the Speaker of Parliament has not informed the Minority caucus and the entire House of any changes made to the leadership of the Minority therefore, Haruna Iddrisu and the others removed still remain at post.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament on Thursday, January 26, he said “For us, there is no reshuffle yet, the Speaker has not communicated to us.”
Aswase Member of Parliament Muntaka Mubarak who was also affected by the changes asked his party, the NDC to sit up.
Muntaka is unhappy with the changes that have been made to the leadership of the Minority by the party.
He believes that the decision was made by a few executives although the statement announcing it was signed by the General Secretary Fifi Kwetey.
“If you cannot write a letter to appoint, how can you write to disappoint?” He asked at the press conference.
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.”
The decision to change the leadership created division among the minority caucus.
National Chairman of NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and the General Secretary Fifi Kwetey will be attending the meeting.
So far, forty-eight of the opposition lawmakers have signed a petition to the party executives to reverse the 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.
The decision was made known on Tuesday, January 24 with the Member of Parliament for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency, Cassiel Ato Forson, replacing Tamale South legislator Haruna Iddrisu as Minority Leader. Ellembelle’s Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah also replaces James Klutse Avedzi as Deputy Minority Leader.
However, the National Chairman of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said the decision was taken because the previous leaders were fighting with the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin.
According to him, he wanted people who can cooperate more with the speaker for the benefit of the NDC since the speaker is a member of the party.
“My priorities 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 the speaker of Parliament?,” Asiedu Nketiah said this in the United Kingdom in a video in possession of DGN Online.
He joined former President John Dramani Mahama last Friday January 27, 2023 at Chatham House in London on the topic “Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role.”
General Mosquito continued that “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 and other people leadership is cooperating with the speaker and our and NDC leadership have challenges, cooperating, with the speaker. And if you are given a party whose leadership in Parliament is not working together. What would you do?
“You make the changes or you resign.
And I’m not about to resign.”
By Vincent Kubi