Saturday, 01 April

We don't want Ato Forson & co.: 60 rebel MPs defy Asiedu Nketia-led NDC guard, choose Haruna group as 77 others endorse new 'king'

Haruna Iddrisu (L) and Dr Cassied Ato Forson (R)

Some 60 NDC MPs have appended their signatures to a petition to the leadership of the National Democratic Congress seeking a reversal of a recent change in leadership of the minority caucus.

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.

This means Mr Haruna Iddrisu is no more the leader of the caucus in parliament.

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

The former Minister of Petroleum replaces Mr James Klutse Avedzi, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

The statement named a new Minority Chief Whip in the person of Mr Kwame Agbodza, who replaces Mr 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”.

Explaining the reasoning that went into the changes, NDC Chairman Johnson Asiedu 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.

However, the change has split the minority caucus into two – those who support the old guard and those who endorse the new leadership.

In their petition, the group of MPs who want the status quo to remain said: “We the undersigned NDC Members of Parliament have taken note of a letter signed by our party General Secretary Fifi Kwetey, dated 23/01/23 and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament. The letter purportedly makes changes to the leadership of our caucus. With all due respect to the leadership of our party at all levels, we wish to request that they patiently broaden and deepen consultations on the subject again, because we have doubts about how thorough the process was”.

“We are concerned that this critical decision didn’t seem to have taken into consideration the unity of purpose and focus our caucus requires to deal with; the Electoral Commission’s intentions to introduce a new CI, the government’s IMF negotiations and its intended reintroduction of the ‘Agyapa deal’ before the House. We also think this decision would have unintended consequences as we go into our parliamentary primaries.”

“Until then, without disregarding the content of the letter signed by the General Secretary of our party and without malice towards our colleagues proposed as new leaders, we, the undersigned NDC members of parliament, resolve to stand by our current leadership, until the process of consultation is satisfactory to all concerned.”

Below is the list of the 60 rebel MPs:

1. Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini

2. Dr Kwabena Donkor

3. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine

4. Ernest Norgbe 

5. Eric Opoku

6. Yusif Sulemana

7. Samuel George

8. Sampson Ahi

9. Ibrahim Mohammed Murtala

10. Edward Bawa

11. A B A Fuseini

12. Abed-Nego Bandim

13. Collins Dauda

14. Thomas Nyarko Ampem

15. Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye

16. Isaac Adongo

17. Angela Oforiwa Alorwu-Tay

18. Linda Obenewaa Akweley Ocloo

19. Haruna Seidu

20. Teddy Safori Addi

21. Dan Latif

22. Zuwera Ibrahimah

23. Clement Abas Apaak

24. Godfred Seidu Jasaw

25. Emmanuel Bedzrah

26. Bukari Nikpe Joseph

27. Andrew Dari Chiwitey

28. Hamza Adam

29. Abdulai Jacob Iddris

30. Dawuni Abukari

31. Francis-Xavier Sosu

32. Sampson  Tangombu Chiragia

33. James Agalga

34. Okletey Terlabi

35.Yussif Jajah

36. Solomon Kuyon

37. Baba Seidu Issifu

38. Yao Gomado

39. Mohamned Adam Sukparu

40. Bede A. Ziedeng

41. Daniel Nsala Wakpal

42. Sebastian Sandaare

43. Muhammad Bawah Braimah

44. Joseph K Kumah

45. Lydia Akanvariba

46. Cletus S Dapilah

47. Alazuuga A. Akuka

48. Ben Ayiku

49. Joseph A. Tettey

50. Isaac Ashai Odamtten

51. Naser Mahama Toure

52. Kobena Woyome

53. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije

54. Thomas Dalu

55. Sumah M. Anthony

56. Sanja Nanja

57. Adams Abdul Salam

58. B. T Baba

59. Dominic Napare

60. Oscar Ofori Larbi


Meanwhile, some 77 NDC MPs are said to be in favour of the new leadership.