Founding President of Imani Africa Franklin Cudjoe believes that Haruna Iddrisu, James Klutse Avedzi and Muntaka Mubarak worked well as Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader and Minority Chief Whip respectively.
He said the new leaders will need to fall on their shoulders for support in times of difficulty.
In a statement, he said “I have followed the fallout from the change in Minority leadership and I must admit both sides, for and against the decision of the executive leadership of the NDC party, make compelling arguments. In fact, I have to admit that Honourable Haruna Iddrisu, Hon. Muntaka and Hon. Avedzi have not only cleverly shepherded their colleague MPs to provide distinctively knowledgeable opposition to the government, but have also dignified their respective roles to almost being peerless.
“And it was from such rarity in quality leadership that birthed the current leadership in Hon. Ato Forson, Hon. Agbodza and Hon. Buah. These ‘new’ made men will succeed, but they will falter too, and whose giant shoulders will they fall on in crisis moments, other than those of Hon. Iddrisu and Hon. Muntaka? And yet, Hon.Iddrisu and Hon. Muntaka are ripe for much bigger roles whose time will come with the support of the very men replacing them in Parliament and the party’s rank and file, which must not be divided. The country needs a viable alternative to the current economic atrophy. The NDC must be worthy, but in Unity.”
Some of the NDC MPs including Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed expressed shock at the decision by the National Democratic Congress (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, Dr 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.
Speaking on TV3‘s News 360 on Tuesday, January 24 after news on the decision broke, the Tamale Central MP said there was no consultation whatsoever with the caucus before the release.
“Every single Member of Parliament is surprised,” he said, “And I can tell you that even those who have been proposed to take leadership, some of them are surprised that such a proposal is made without even consulting them.”
He condemned the mode of communication, saying as an MP he got wind of the decision on social media like many other NDC MPs.
“That is not how things are done,” he fumed.
“The NDC is a democratic party. We have touted ourselves as the pacesetters of this democracy. The NDC gave birth to the 1992 Constitution for which reason we have all collectively agreed to chart the path of democracy.”
He, therefore, indicated that NDC should be the last to disregard democratic tenets and by making such a decision without consulting the group – or caucus – it affects, to him, smacks of disrespect.
The former Nanton MP said his experience of having been in the Sixth Parliament and even the Eighth Parliament tells him that there is active consultation between the party’s leadership and the caucus prior to such decisions.
“How do you choose leaders for a group without consulting that group?” he wondered.
“Who told you that the group will be comfortable with the people you have chosen? Now if the group were not comfortable with the people you have chosen, then that will be the beginning of a failure of that particular leadership.”
Also, Member of Parliament for Agotime Ziope, Charles Agbeve demanded explanations into the decision.
Mr Agbeve said the NDC lawmakers were surprised following the announcement of the changes because consultations were not done on this matter.
He told TV3’s Komla Kluste in an interview that “I am flabbergastered, the news hit me because it is one of the last news I am expecting at this time, and so I am surprised.
“It took me a long time to really appreciate the news because normally, the national executives will engage the leadership of Parliament and if leadership thinks the engagements, they can’t get to a consultation, they meet the whole caucus and so, I can count countless engagements between the caucus and the national executives on all issues.
“There are issues when they come up, leadership thinks let us take some advice from the national executives and then they give the direction. So one would have thought that if there is going to be a shake-up like this, there would have been some engagements and that engagement would have watered down the shock and surprise.
“You will know there is going to be some changes here and there and then people will make inputs and suggestions but this was not done and I will like to know what went into this thinking, I will want some explanations, that will give all of us reasons to support it. ”
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the decision was taken based on the current trend of debate on national issues.
“The debates and the other discussions will focus on the economy so you need to put your best man in the economy forward, that is what we have done,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.
“We also looked at energy. These petroleum and electricity challenges and so we needed to settle on Kofi-Armah Buah, our former Energy Minister to be the Deputy Minority Leader and then the other area is infrastructure, Kwame Agbodza being our man in infrastructure should play a key role. So that generally is what informed the changes.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana