The National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah has defied an advice by the Council of Elders of the NDC for all stakeholders to desist from making public pronouncements following the disagreements over a reshuffle in the Minority leadership in Parliament.
In defying the Council of Elders’ advice, Mr Asiedu Nketiah addressed a press conference in London and insisted that extensive consultations were done before the leadership of the NDC decided to reshuffle the Minority leadership.
Why did we struggle to get an NDC Speaker?
Mr Asiedu Nketiah said his priorities as national chairman of the NDC was to see the NDC parliamentary caucus working together and also cooperating with the Speaker of Parliament.
“Why did we struggle to get an NDC person elected as a Speaker of Parliament. 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 NPP leadership is cooperating with the Speaker, and our NDC leadership have challenges cooperating with the Speaker.”
“And if you are given a party whose leadership in Parliament is not working together, what will you do, you make the changes or you resign, and I’m not about to resign,” Mr Asiedu Nketiah said in his justification for the reshuffle.
The Council of Elders of the NDC had urged all party faithful, including Members of Parliament (MPs) to be circumspect on their utterances concerning the recent changes to the Minority leadership.
Last week it came out that the NDC per a letter addressed to the Speaker of Parliament had changed its leadership in Parliament with Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah and Governs Kwame Agbodza replacing Haruna Iddrisu, James Klutse Avedzi and Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka as Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader and Chief Whip respectively.
The revelation was received with divergent views by different stakeholders of the party, with some NDC MPs signing a petition against the move.
Out of the 137 minority MPs, 73 of them signed a petition asking the National Executive Committee of the NDC to reverse the decision to reshuffle the Minority leadership.
They petitioned the Council of Elders to intervene arguing that the decision was not made by any of the constitutional bodies of the NDC, that is neither Congress, National Executive Committee (NEC), Functional Executive Committee (FEC), the Council of Elders or the members in Parliament themselves, who said the decision came as a surprise to them.
Responding to the petition, the Council of Elders in a press statement dated January 28, 2023, acknowledged it had received it and would work on it expeditiously together with other related matters.
Asiedu Nketiah’s press conference
But at a press conference in the UK, Mr Asiedu Nketiah said, “those who are claiming that nobody had been consulted, I want to tell them that this is one of the most, the decisions over which there have been the most consultative process, everybody who needed to be consulted was consulted.”
“But the decision is our decision, the decision cannot be the decision of people who were consulted, I hope that is clear.”
“If you have the responsibility of taking a decision, you take your decision after the consultation, so don’t go blaming those people you have consulted, because each of them will give you their views and then you sit down to synthesize the views and then your decision may reflect some of the wishes of some of the people who gave the advice, but eventually it becomes to your decision.
“The suggestions are mere raw materials for the decision but the final product is your work.”
“And so as a leader, I take full responsibility for the decision, and I don’t want anybody to blame anybody at all for that decision, I take full responsibility for the decision,” Mr Asiedu Nketiah said.