Former Minority leader and Member of parliament for Tamale (MP) South, Haruna Iddrisu, is shaping up as consumed by bitterness over his replacement to the point of lying against his successor, Cassiel Ato Forson and the others making up the new Minority leadership.
Yesterday in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, exhibited what many describe as “gross disrespect” to the new leadership of the Minority caucus, when he claimed that he had rejected a chair belonging to Collins Dauda, which was offered to him by the minority leadership, following his removal as the leader of the caucus by his party.
But multiple sources have told The Herald that the Tamale South MP lied. This “was a typical Haruna Iddrisu, trying to court bad press for NDC and the Ato Forson leadership over his removal”.
Interestingly, short videos and pictures have since emerged of the ex-Minority Leader, sitting comfortably in a chair designated directly behind his successor and bosom friend, Ato Forson.
The video had the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin in his chair and giving directions to the MPs on a report they were supposed to debate.
Also in the video was Obed Agbodza, the new Minority Chief Whip and MP for Adaklu, who replaced Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, MP for Asawase.
“Over 50 seats were empty on the Minority side for him – Haruna- to occupy and make his statement even if it was true that he was not allotted a seat, but it is not true that he wasn’t given a chair”, one other Parliamentary source told The Herald.
Mr Speaker, forgive me that I have to assume your chair, there was [sic] whether I should take over from Collins Dauda or yours and I have told them that honourable Collins Dauda is senior by age and a senior even to this house. So, I will not fit into his chair as somebody who is well-trained from home. So, any other chair Mr Speaker acceptable to me, I am still the elected member of parliament for Tamale south,” he said in the chamber yesterday after he made a contribution.
But other sources also denied Haruna’s claim, telling The Herald that it is not true for him to say he was asked to take over Collins’ seat. Rather, his new seat was at the spot where Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, the MP for Wa Central, used to seat.
“Am not sure why Haruna is doing this to himself”, the contact told The Herald.
Various individuals familiar with the matter, disclosed that there was a seat allotted for him and that he had sat in that chair since Parliament resumed until yesterday when in the absence of the Speaker, Mr Bagbin, he moved from his new sitting area to take up the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu’s chair on the Majority side to embarrass his new leaders.
The Herald was told that on Tuesday February 7, 2023, when Parliament resumed from the Christmas break, it was evident that the seating arrangement had automatically changed owing to the reshuffle of the Minority front by the NDC National Executives.
The new leadership out of respect, allocated a sitting area to Haruna Iddrisu which used to be occupied by the MP for Asutifi South, Collins Dauda, however, Haruna initially objected to the seat and a new sitting area was immediately allocated him next to Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, the MP Wa Central.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Haruna never sat in the chamber, however, yesterday, Thursday he decided to participate in the activities of the House.
He entered the chamber and respectfully sat in the seat allocated to him with his nametag on the desk. The unthinkable, however, happened when he decided to ‘cross carpet’ to the Majority side to contribute to a Foreign Affairs Committee report, after which he made the false claims against his leaders.
Many of the MPs, including those on the majority side were said to be taken aback as this action was alien to the House.
“Haruna was on his rightful seat when Bagbin was in the chair. But, surprisingly moved to the majority side when Bagbin left. To me he’s either still bitter or showing gross disrespect to the new leadership”, one insider told The Herald, yesterday.
“Because he knows the standing orders very well to do what he just did this morning”.
The majority leadership, including Joe Wise (First Deputy Speaker and MP for Ashanti Bekwai) were said to be full of smiles on Haruna’s anti-organization behaviour.
Interestingly, the First Deputy Speaker, had on many occasions, insisted that MPs speak from their officially allotted seats.
“So it was so strange for him for “Joe Wise” to allow someone to speak from his (Joe Wise) seat”, The Herald was told.
The Herald again learnt that Haruna is being treated with utmost courtesy and respect by the Ato Forson leadership, with them ready to even allow him use the office designated for the Minority Leader as Ato Forson is not in a hurry or even interested in occupying that office.
The MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central Region, is said to have remarked that Haruna can occupy the office in addition to his MP Tamale South office, as long as he likes.
It, therefore, beats many, particularly those in the Minority Caucus as to why Haruna, will spew such a lie but one opined “he’s bitter because he can’t go on the leadership trips again where he takes fat fat per diems”.
Another MP in leadership of the Majority side said he “feel he needs psychologist to deal with the withdrawal syndrome as what he did can lead to political suicide”.
What is shocking is that, this is coming at a time the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has been vehemently rejecting allegations that Haruna Iddrisu, “sold out” his caucus when he was the Minority Leader.
According to the Suame MP, such claims against Haruna were untrue and should be disregarded completely, adding it’s unfortunate for someone who has served his party and the country so well to be described as such.
“Let me state emphatically and unambiguously that no such thing happened. I had developed a very harmonious working relationship with them [old Minority leaders] but people then read meanings into it.
“The business of the Minority Leader is to assist the Majority Leader in facilitating the business of the government and if someone does that, it shouldn’t be perceived as selling out to the Majority.”
“The business of the Minority Leader is to assist the Majority Leader in facilitating the business of the government and if someone does that, it shouldn’t be perceived as selling out to the majority.”
Haruna’s seat claims also come at a time Broadcaster Paul Adom-Otchere is alleging that some supporters of the NPP want him to rejoin the party.
According to Mr Adom-Otchere, who is also the Board Chairman of the Ghana Airports Company, the NPP supporters are not happy with the treatment of Haruna Iddrisu, the MP for Tamale South, by the leadership of the opposition NDC.
He added that the NPP supporters argue that Haruna was an NPP member before he was snatched by a leading member of the NDC, Mohammed Ibn Chambers, and he is welcome if he wants to return to the party.
“Some NPP supporters called me as I was coming into the studio and guess what they said. They said “Haruna Iddrisu, has been removed as minority leader, tell him to come back to us.
“They said “Paul didn’t you know that Haruna Iddrisu was with the NPP before he joined the NDC? He was with the NPP before Mohammed Chambers took him to the NDC,” Adom Otchere, said during his Good Evening Ghana programme.
The broadcaster went on to play the hit song by Lucky Mensah, Old School Girl, which was requested by the NPP supporters.