The 71-year-old Member of Parliament (MP) for Zebilla East, Cletus Apul Avoka, has broken ranks with his party’s leadership over the timing for the elevation of his colleague for the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam constituency, Dr. Cassiel Ato Fosrson to replace his bosom friend, Haruna Iddrisu, as Minority Leader is wrong.
Referring to Dr. Fosrson and the others, the former Majority Leader insists the party does not have the luxury of time to turn a nonentity into somebody but must rather focus on galvanising the party to wrestle power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“This is not the time to make nobody a somebody, this is not the time to make nobody a somebody, this is the time to galvanise all of us to fight the NPP so that we can win elections not to make heroes out of nonentities, this is not the time,” Mr Avoka said Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
His comments come after the party decided to replace Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu with Dr. Ato Forson after years in office.
The party after six years also decided to replace Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi with MP for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.
There have been mixed reactions after the NDC announced the list of its new leaders in parliament.
Several NDC MPs including MP for Bolgatanga East, Dominic Ayine and Tamale Central MP, Murtala Muhammed have described the leadership changes as undemocratic and deeply worrying since no consultations were held with the Minority caucus.
Despite the protests, some seventy-seven NDC MPs are reported to have signed a petition in support of Dr Ato Forson’s appointment as the new Minority Leader.
This comes after some other members of the minority group also signed a petition against the removal of Haruna Iddrisu and Mubarak Muntaka Mohamed as leaders of the minority caucus in parliament.
According to 3news.com, the 77 MPs believe that the appointment of Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson is a step in the right direction, and they endorse the decision.
Media reports are that 44 Minority MPs had earlier signed a petition to reject the decision of the party. The 44 members believe the decision by the party is unfair and unpopular.
However, some 77 MPs have also reportedly signed a different petition to endorse the decision of the party.
According to reports, the 77 MPs believe that Dr. Ato Forson and Armah-Kofi Buah are politically astute and have the quality to lead the party in Parliament.
According to some MPs, the caucus was not engaged before the appointment was made but others have also welcomed the idea, as they believe the appointment is in the right direction for the party to win power in 2024.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has indicated that reshuffling its leadership in Parliament aligns with the party’s agenda ahead of the 2024 elections.
According to him, the 2024 elections will primarily focus on the economy; thus, the party must surround the people with finance and economic experts to ensure they can assist Ghanaians in doing things better.
Meanwhile, the NDC has justified the shake-up in its leadership in Parliament despite criticisms from its own members.
The party said the decision, which has also seen the MP for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza also replacing Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak as the Minority Chief Whip, is apt and works best for collective other than individual interests.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Fiifi Kwetey while speaking on Eyewitness News discredited such assertions insisting that those who mattered were contacted for the necessary inputs.
“This decision was taken after wide consultation. If you look at the apex leadership of the party, that consultation was done. In terms of parliamentary, the group said that is widely consulted, that consultation has been done.”