Talks are currently underway for a massive shakeup in the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus, following the party’s defeat in last Friday’s vote on the six ministerial nominees President Akufo-Addo presented to Parliament for consideration and approval.
The Chronicle is well informed that even though the discussions around the reshuffle is yet to be concluded, the top echelons of the party are hell-burnt on undertaking this exercise as a revenge on their own MPs who defied the party’s directive, as communicated to the general public by its General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey on February 19, 2023.
Mr. Kwetey, on behalf of the NDC, in a statement issued on the said date with the title: “Statement on vetting and approval of ministerial nominees”, directed the Members of 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”.
The directive was premised on concerns over the large size of the current government as expressed by some Ghanaians and Civil Society Organisations. In their view, the size of the government must be reduced, bearing in mind the current economic mess the country has been plunged into by the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
“In this moment of haircuts, the most important thing the government can do is to do a government haircut. Our directive to the Minority in Parliament, we believe, strongly aligns with the genuine sentiments of most Ghanaians”, the statement in part read.
However, in spite of the strong position taken by the party, some of the NDC MPs defied the directive and voted on Friday, March 24, 2023 to approve the six ministerial nominees President Akufo-Addo presented to Parliament, a move that symbolises that majority of Ghanaians are in favor of the current size of the government.
What was more worrying to the NDC was the massive endorsement of its number one nemesis, Bryan Acheampong, NPP MP for Abetifi, who was nominated by President Akufo-Addo for the position of Minister of Food and Agriculture.
Bryan Acheampong, who is best remembered by the NDC followers about happenings in the Ayawaso West by-election, secured 167 yes votes against 98 no votes, to affirm his popularity among the MPs from both sides of the House.
All the other nominees secured massive endorsement to scale through the threats of the NDC party.
For instance, K.T Hammond, popularly known among the MPs as “Class Prefect”, secured 154 yes votes against 116 no votes. He was nominated for the position of Minister of Trade and Industry.
Stephen Asamoah Boateng, who was nominated for the position of Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs secured 147 yes votes against 122 no votes, whilst Mr. Mohammed Amin Anta also secured 152 yes votes against 117 no votes.
Osei Bonsu Amoah, who was also nominated for the position of Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development also garnered 149 yes votes against 123 no votes, with Stephen Amoah securing 146 yes votes against 123 no votes to confirm his approval for the position of deputy Minister of Trade and Industry.
Following the outcome of the election, followers of the NDC and some top echelons of the party, including former President John Dramani Mahama and the Minority Leader, Casiel Ato Forson, have expressed disappointment in their MPs.
The former President, John Mahama, described the move by the NDC MPs as selfish and insensitive.
While nursing the wounds inflicted on themselves, deep throat sources within the party have disclosed to The Chronicle that “Reshuffle is eminent”.
According to sources, the Leadership of the Minority has taken note of all that transpired at last Friday’s sitting and will let same reflect in the reshuffle exercise they are going to embark on that will affect all the committees of Parliament.
This means that the biggest casualties will be Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, who by virtue of the then position he was occupying (Minority Chief Whip) was a Member of the Pan-African Parliament.
Following the recent reshuffle that hit the Minority front, Mubarak-Muntaka’s position has been taken over by the NDC MP for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza. However, he has since then still remained a member of the Pan-African Parliament.
Inside sources say the much expected reshuffle by the NDC will see Mubarak-Muntaka withdrawn for Agbodza to take his rightful place.
Those that the party suspect of having betrayed its course are also going to be affected, with inside sources saying the party’s members on the Committee on Mines and Energy will be the biggest casualties.
It is not clear when exactly the reshuffle exercise will take place, but inside sources say it is likely to take place within the week before the House goes on recess on Friday, March 31, 2023.
Story by Stephen Odoi-Larbi