The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MP) who have petitioned the Council of Elders of the party over the reshuffle of the minority leadership, are beginning to switch allegiance and depart from their entrenched position for a reversal of the decision made by the national executives led by Johnson Asiedu Nketiah.
They are no longer protesting against the process and procedure of the removal of the Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu and Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, the MP for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, but rather the timing of their removal as Minority Leader and Minority Chief Whip, respectively.
Interestingly, The Herald learnt that Dr Obed Asamoah, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who once served as NDC National Chairman, is reported to have boycotted the Council of Elders meeting, saying the petitioners as well as Haruna Iddrisu and Mubarak Muntaka, should not be allowed to dictate to the party.
The respected Dr Asamoah, feels their stances are divisive, and wants some discipline to prevail.
At yesterday’s meeting with the elders of the party to consider their petition, the MPs, rather begged for Haruna Iddrisu and Mubarak Muntaka, to be allowed to stay in office until after the NDC’s Presidential and Parliamentary primaries in May.
The petitioners were said to have now welcomed the change in the minority leadership, but only requested for an extension of time for the two individuals who are seeking re-election in their respective constituencies, fearing the change in the status quo, could affect their fortunes at the parliamentary primaries.
The NDC Council of Elders, had earlier yesterday met with some of the petitioners in the morning and followed it up with another meeting with the young men; Haruna Iddrisu and Mubarak Muntaka.
Both meetings were held behind closed doors at the East Legon residence of Alhaji Mahama Idrissu, in Accra.
Senior NDC party members who were present at the meeting; included Prof. Kwamina Ahwoi, ex-Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adzaho, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, ex-National Security Minister, Kofi Totobi Quarkye, ex-National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya, Dan Abodakpui, Ato Dadzie, Kwame Peprah among others.
The Herald is informed that, the elders will later today meet with the National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, Fifi Kwetey, the General Secretary and others to get their input on the matter after which a statement will be issued on the outcome of the meetings.
Asiedu Nketiah and Fifi Kwetey, were said to have been busy preparing for a Functional Executive Committee (FEC) meeting, hence could not be available for the meeting.
The Herald has, however, picked up reports that the National Executives, will not revise their decision.
The reshuffle, had seen the replacement of the Tamale South MP with the Ajumako Enyan Essiam MP, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, as Minority Leader after a six-year tenure.
On the petitioners’ side were; Collins Dauda, Cletus Avorko, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, Kwabena Donkor, BT Baba among others.
The case of the petitioners had been that as MPs, they were not consulted ahead of the change of their leadership.
But reports available to The Herald, had been that Haruna Iddrisu and Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, were separately met by Ato Ahwoi and Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, and informed about the change. They had been mute about the meetings, allowing lack of consultation to fester and split the party.
Some of the petitioners, who called the new leaders as “nonentities”, had argued against the change in the petition, saying they needed Haruna Iddrisu and Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, as leaders because Akufo-Addo government was bringing back the Agyapa Royalty deal, as well as the 3 billion IMF loan bailout.
The petitioners had also talked about the Electoral Commission (EC) bringing before Parliament a CI, and needs Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka and Haruna Iddrisu, as their leaders.
Meanwhile, Mr Asiedu Nketiah, who once again spoke about the change, said in London where he is on a trip with ex-President John Mahama, that 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.
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 the 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.
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.
“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.