Order to disapprove Ministerial nominees: NDC ‘Insecticide Kills’ Mosquito

The powers of the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, alias General Mosquito, the man noted for spewing unprintable words such as ‘Kwasea Bi Nti’ and ‘we have tamed the barking dog’ among others, were reduced to rubbles last week Friday, when his Members of Parliament defied his orders.

Mr Bryan Acheampong – received massive endorsement from the MPs

General Mosquito had ordered the Minority MPs to vote against six ministerial nominees because the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was already bloated and does not need more members.

As he did as the then General Secretary of the NDC, when the MPs were voting to elect the Speaker of Parliament two years ago, Mr Asiedu Nketia drove to Parliament to ensure that his orders would be complied with.

But some of the opposition MPs who were dissatisfied with his controversial reshuffle of their leadership early this year, had different ideas. They did not openly kick against the execution of the orders but rather did so when they entered the voting booth, by voting for the approval of all the President’s ministerial nominees.

Out of the 275 Members of Parliament eligible to vote, three were absent, while the remaining 272 Members successfully cast their ballots.Rather ironically, the NDC had 136 members and the NPP had 135 members, with one Independent member.

K.T Hammond – got the endorsement as Minister for Trade and Industry

Adansi Asokwa MP, Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, was given the nod to head the Ministry of Trade and Industry, whilst Dr Stephen Amoah was also voted as one of the Deputy Ministers at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Abetifi MP, Mr Brian Acheampong, was approved as the Food and Agriculture Minister and Karaga MP, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam approved as Minister of State at the Finance Ministry.

Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng was confirmed as the new Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, whilst Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah heads for the Local Government and Rural Development as Minister of State.

Mr K.T Hammond secured 154 YES votes as against 116 NO votes. Dr Stephen Amoah received 146 YES votes against 123 NO votes.Also, Brian Acheampong was approved after receiving 167 YES votes against 96 NO votes. Also, Amin Adam secured 152 YES votes as against 117 NO votes, with O.B Amoah securing 149 YES votes and 120 NO votes.

This decision was not arrived at without heated arguments from both caucuses in the House.

Decision to put the motion to a vote

The decision to put the motion to a vote was necessitated by the report of the Appointments Committee, which was presented by the Chairman of the Committee and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu.

It would be recalled that on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in accordance with Articles 78(1) and 79(1) of the 1992 Constitution communicated to Parliament, the nomination of the six persons for consideration and approval as Ministers, Ministers of State and Deputy Minister.

The Appointments Commitment also held Public Hearings on 20th and 21st February, 2023 to consider the nominations.

The Chairman, who moved the motion for the adoption of the 63-page report on Thursday, March 23, 2023 noted that the committee concluded on approving the nominees by a majority decision, instead of consensus.

He indicated this, after he took some time to outline some of the factors that were considered in the consideration of the nominees.

Dr Ato Forson, Minority Leader

He said the committee considered the nominees in the achievements in their past employments or portfolio, as well as their future achievements.

He noted further that the nominees eligibility and qualifications were also delved into and based on the responses elucidated from the nominees, the Committee approved them by a majority decision.

“…The Committee therefore recommends to the House by a majority decision for the adoption of its report and recommendation for  the approval of Mr K.T Hammond for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Bryan Acheampong for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture…,” the Chairman said.

Seconding the motion for the approval of the nominees, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin indicated that all the nominees, except one, are Members of Parliament whose potentials and capacities cannot be disputed.

Speaking specifically about Mr K.T Hammond, the Effutu Legislator said the nominee is someone with an affable character, an experienced lawyer and MP who has occupied a ministerial position before, hence fit to run the affairs of the Ministry of Trades.

He also took time to trumpet the achievements and capabilities of the other nominees and called for the support of the House in approving their nominations.

Mr Afenyo-Markins said that members could disagree, but they should demonstrate to Ghanaians that they will agree, for the forward march of the country when it is necessary.

“Although we came to a decision by majority, I know that here at plenary, this House can by consensus proceed to use a voice vote to approve all the nominees, ” he said.

He added that governance should not be obstructed, especially when no one has come out with any contrary view on the nominees, despite the tough scrutiny that they were taken through at the vetting.

Even before other members of the House could also comment on the report, there were indication that there was no consensus on the motion, so it has to be put to a vote. This ushered the House into a brief suspension to afford the Speaker and leadership the time to agree on what should be done.

After a 3-4 hrs suspension, Speaker Bagbin ruled that the debate on the report should be taken on that very Thursday, while vote would be taken on Friday, March 24.

Comments from other MPs 

Member of Parliament for Okaikoi Central, Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, who supported the motion to approve the nominees, indicated that the nominees are colleague MPs whose competencies and capabilities would help the country and that they should be approved.

However, the North Tongu MP, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa rejected the idea of approving the nominees. He was of the opinion that the country was currently facing serious economic crisis and that it does not make sense to add more ministers to the already bloated ministerial list.

Mr Ablakwa indicated that increasing the number of ministers would have dire consequences on the already stressed public purse.

“…If you do the analysis, by having a new minister of state at the Local Government ministry, we are adding on. We are going to have more ministers.”

He said the Finance Minister is in China pleading with the government to find ways to restructure Ghana’s debt, so it would not be prudent to add more ministers.

His comment supported the call made by the National Democratic Congress right after the President announced the new appointments.

It would be recalled that on February 19, 2023 the NDC directed its Minority members in Parliament to reject the new ministers appointed by President Akufo-Addo.

In a press release, the party explained that this is to help push for the reduction in the size of the current government.

The NDC stated that, the party, together with other civil society organisations have on numerous occasions expressed concern over government’s size but the President has yet to act on the calls for a reduction.

“The leadership of the NDC, has, against this backdrop, directed the Minority caucus in Parliament not to approve any of the new ministerial nominees and to further push for a reduction in the size of government with a view to reducing the needless drain on scarce public resources.”

“In this moment of haircuts, the most important thing the government can do is to do a ‘governmental haircut’. Our directive to the Minority in Parliament, we believe strongly aligns with the genuine sentiments of most Ghanaians. Enough is enough,” parts of the statement read.

Voting Day

Before the House would commence voting on Friday March 24, the Effutu MP, Afenyo-Markin suggested that since the NPP has 137 members and the NDC had 136 members, the majority should be declared winners of the motion, based on their numbers.

This decision was, however, rejected by many, especially the minority caucus. They insisted that members should be allowed to exercise their right to a secret ballot, which has been stipulated in the 1992 constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

The Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri and Majority Chief Whip, Mr Frank Annor Dompreh also suggested that if the House wants to undertake secret voting, then the majority side should be made to cross carpet and cast their ballots at the majority side and vice versa. This idea was also rejected by the House.

The House finally settled on a secret vote, where each caucus voted at their side of the chamber.

After 3 to 4 hours of voting, the process ended and Speaker Bagbin announced the results.

Shocks after results were announced 

Based on the long standing decision taken by the Minority caucus and the NDC to reject the nominees in order to save the public purse, it was shocking that all 136 minority caucus did not vote against the motion.

The first person to express shock, disappoint and regret about the turn of events was the Former President John Dramani Mahama.

Taking to social media, Mr Mahama wrote: “Those responsible for this betrayal must do some serious soul-searching and learn to place national interest over personal interest.”

Mr Mahama noted that the Minority in Parliament had announced a principled position not to approve any new ministers until the President has taken steps to significantly reduce the size of his government.


However, he said when the same MPs were presented with an opportunity to do something about the situation, they fluffed the lines.

“Unfortunately, Ghanaians were sorely disappointed yesterday when several members of the Minority for some parochial and personal interest voted against the principled position adopted by the party,” he said.

Another person who also took to social media to express his disappointment was the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.

The Ajumako-Enyam-Essiam legislator said he was downhearted that his caucus could not vote against the nominees to compel President Akufo-Addo to reduce the size of his government.

He, however, expressed his utmost gratitude to the over 100 NDC MPs who voted against the nominees.

According to him, these MPs demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the collective good of the Ghanaians people.

“To say I am profoundly disappointed with the outcome of yesterday’s proceedings is an understatement.

“While it is true that we did not achieve the desired reduction in the number of ministers under this government, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the over 100 NDC MPs who worked tirelessly to represent the will of the majority of the Ghanaian people.

“These MPs have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the betterment of our society.

“Their tireless efforts to push for a reduction in the number of ministers are a testament to their dedication to our shared cause,” he said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, Dr Ato Forson has expressed optimism that the caucus would work together to achieve the greater good for the NDC and Ghana as a whole.

“While the outcome may not have been what we had hoped for, I believe we can still work together to achieve our goals.

“I remain hopeful that, by continuing to engage in constructive dialogue and collaboration, we can find a way forward that benefits all Ghanaians.

“Once again, I want to express my disappointment, but I am also grateful for the efforts of those who worked to represent our collective vision for a better Ghana. Let us continue to strive towards a brighter future,” he said.



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