Ato Forson honoured, humbled to be chosen as new Minority Leader
The Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam Constituency, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has said he is honoured and humbled to have been chosen to lead the Minority caucus in Parliament.
He thanked the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for placing their trust and confidence in him.
He also said he is grateful to colleagues, the rank and file of the NDC and the Ghanaian people for their profound support and solidarity.
In a Facebook post, the new Minority leader disclosed that he had held fruitful and positive conversations with his immediate predecessor, Haruna Iddrisu, and commended him for his admirable stewardship when he was granted the opportunity by the party's leadership.
As the new minority leader, Dr Forson says it will be his duty to represent the Minority’s collective goals with unwavering dedication and high integrity.
He said he has no doubt that with their support the Minority shall succeed.
Meanwhile, some 60 NDC MPs have appended their signatures to a petition to the leadership of the party 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 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
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.
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