Saturday, 20 April

Minority leadership change: Kiss Tamale South, Ketu North, Asawase seats goodbye – Ahiagbah to NDC

Mr Ahiagbah’s comments come on the back of the recent changes in the leadership of the minority caucus

The governing New Patriotic Party’s Director of Communications Richard Ahiagbah has said the NDC will likely lose its seats in the Tamale South, Ketu North and Asawase constituencies come 2024.

Mr Ahiagbah’s comments come on the back of the recent changes in the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) Parliamentary caucus.

According to the NPP’s Communication Director, these changes will affect the NDC’s vote in the constituencies of its former caucus leaders in parliament.

In a tweet, Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Mr Ahiagbah said: “The NDC should kiss the Tamale South, Ketu North, and Asawase seats, and the 2024 Presidential elections goodbye.”

The NPP Communicator added: “The NDC preaches virtue and practices vice.” 

The NDC announced the leadership change on Tuesday.

A letter to the Speaker of Parliament to that effect signed by General Secretary Fifi Kwetey announced Dr Cassiel Ato Forson as the new Minority Leader.

He is to be assisted by Mr Emmanual Armah Kofi Buah as Deputy Minority Leader.

This means Mr James Klutse Avedzi, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, is no longer the Deputy Minority Leader.

The statement named a new Minority Whip in the person of Mr Kwame Agbodza who replaces Muntaka Mubarak.

The First Deputy Whip remains Mr Ibrahim Ahmed and the Second Deputy Whip remains Comfort Doyoe Ghansah.

The statement said the “new leadership would be charged to recommend consequential changes in the Ranking membership to the headquarters of the party for approval.”

But Constituents of the Tamale Central area, on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, massed up at the NDC office in the Northern Regional capital of Tamale to protest the removal of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Haruna Iddrisu, from his position as the leader of the Minority in Parliament.

The constituents are calling on the National Executive Committee (NEC) to rescind its decision to change Mr Iddrisu as the minority leader.

The constituents claim if the party fails to rescind its decision, they will advise themselves.

Meanwhile, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson is the “best” economist the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has to lead economic debates in parliament, thus, his selection as the next minority leader, the Chairman of the biggest opposition party has said.

According to Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the 2024 polls will be centred on the economy, energy and infrastructure, thus, the need to put the party's best men in those sectors in strategic leadership positions in parliament.

Explaining the reasoning that went into the changes, Mr Nketia told the media in an interview that it is part of the party’s reorganisation process ahead of the 2024 polls.

“We started re-organisation of our structures to be able to position ourselves to fight election 2024. 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 noted.

In terms of the timing, he said: “It’s in line with the way we are prosecuting the national reorganization. In terms of why? What it tells you is that the only constant thing is change,” adding: “Since the environment is changing, leadership must change along.”

Explaining what he meant by ‘environment’, he said: “We know, for instance, that going into election 2024, the economy is going to be the major battleground 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,” Mr Nketia pointed out.