NDC Was In A Turmoil
The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has defended Sammy Gyamfi’s statement to the party’s leadership in Parliament, but has rebuked the tone of the communication.
According to him, the party was in turmoil and the leadership needed to communicate the feelings of the grassroots, something he said Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communications Officer’s statement did.
General Mosquito, as he is widely known, was a guest this week on Ekosii Sen, a political talk show on Accra based radio, Asempa FM.
The host had asked him if the public criticism, describing Sammy Gyamfi’s statement as disrespectful to the Speaker of Parliament and the NDC leadership in the House, was justified.
Responding to the question, the star witness at the 2020 Presidential Election Petition, Asiedu Nketia retorted that one could not eat his /her cake and still have it.
“You cannot eat your cake and have it. The same people said the national executive interferes in the affairs of Parliament. The same people are saying we did not show leadership in dealing with the issue. It means you do not have anything to say because you are not clear that we should go to Parliament to compel the MPs to vote a certain way or we should not get involved with it.”
He explained further that: “We have said that the party has some influence in some decisions taken by the party’s caucus in Parliament on any national issue, but that said, the party is careful it does not dictate to the MPs unnecessarily.
So, when we say Whip system, it means the Whip must make sure everyone comes to vote when needed… And also, when it gets to some critical issues which go to the bottom of the principles of the party, the Whip must make sure the party’s principles are upheld.”
He was further asked why some people thought the leadership was not up to the task, given that some members of the executive went overboard with the attack on the party’s leadership in Parliament, referring to Sammy Gyamfi’s statement.
However, General Mosquito responded that: “Sammy’s statement came after decisions had been made and the party was in turmoil. There was upsurge of anger from the grassroots. So, as leadership we must communicate the feelings of the grassroots. So, the fact that Sammy Gyamfi communicated was not wrong. We have issues about the nature of the communication. And to say that whatever he communicated, which has involved the Speaker and the rest is correct, will be wrong. So, a statement ought to be made but the tone of it in the midst of anger – we were all angry, including myself, some MPs and leaders.”
When asked if he believed that as the Chief Executive of the party he showed leadership during the turmoil, General Mosquito, with a rather soft voice, answered ‘yes’, adding that, “that’s why we have solved that problem.
Sammy Gyamfi in his statement said that: “The current leadership have lost their moral authority to lead and are not fit to sit on the front bench of the NDC side of the house. More importantly, it’s about time we understood that we don’t have any NDC Speaker of Parliament. No we don’t! We have a Speaker who rode on the back of the NDC into Office to pursue his own parochial agenda and nothing more. You trust them, at your own peril.”
But reacting to the “attack” by Sammy Gyamfi in an interview on Class FM, Speaker Bagbin said the NDC should not expect him to do their bidding in Parliament.
“Recently in the media, on social media, in particular, you have heard the blistering attack on me when I did not play any role apart from presiding [over the business of the house].
“Because I say I belong or came from a party, does he [Sammy Gyamfi] think I’m at the beck and call of the party?” he quizzed.
He added, “Now, I don’t belong to any party. I’m the Speaker of Ghana. I’m not a Speaker of the NPP. I’m not a Speaker of NDC. I’m the Speaker of Ghana and I must hold the balance. So decision-taking; no. My duty is to ensure that there’s an even playing field and the decision is taken and I announce it. That is all.
“And, so, if you sit down and look at me and think that maybe you were my girlfriend before [and, therefore] I should give you an advantage over another who I’ve never met, please, then don’t come to me; you won’t get it. Let’s finish; after work, we can do that business together. Not when I’m working. That’s my nature; that’s how I’ve been up to this time and, so, it’s unfortunate that these things are happening.”