The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has defended the shake-up of its parliamentary leadership despite criticisms from its own members.
The party claimed that the decision is appropriate and serves collective interests more so than individual ones.
Many people have referred to the announcement of Haruna Iddrisu’s dismissal as Minority Leader as shocking because they believe the party failed to hold comprehensive consultations in order to establish a consensus, accusing the leadership of making a decision unilaterally.
However, NDC General Secretary Fiifi Kwetey refuted these claims in an interview with Eyewitness News, stating that the right people was engaged 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 that is widely consulted, that consultation has been done.”
“What needed to be done about this reshuffling was done and the people duly consulted. All the key leaders have been consulted. The former President, Mahama was consulted and his views duly reflected. The new and old leaders were informed and consulted”, he emphasized.
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.
The former Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka has also called on the party to immediately reverse the decision, describing it as unpopular and unfortunate.
Some NDC party supporters in Tamale South have also given the party a 24-hour ultimatum to rescind the decision or face their wrath.
But Fifi Kwetey in response said the decision has been taken and will not be reversed.
He said the party will proceed with the leadership changes when Parliament resumes in February.
“The leadership of the party at the highest level has taken a decision and that is just what it is. You cannot set up a precedent where decisions by the leadership of the party are now going to be an issue of the caucus. The leadership of the party in Parliament is appointed by the leadership of the party. It is not something that is done by the caucus of the party”.
He added that the party only had to inform Haruna Iddrisu of the decision and not consult him on his removal.
Justifying the decision, the NDC chief scribe said the regional balance of swing regions and the economic issues ahead of the 2024 election, were highly factored in the decision.
“It is an integral part of the process of preparing ourselves for the next general elections. A process of reorganization has been ongoing. We are looking at having the process continue ahead of the parliamentary and presidential primaries. We believe that as part of the process, the next election is going to revolve around matters of the economy.”
“It’s going to be an economic battle and as part of the process, with consultation with leadership at the highest level, we thought that involves how best to even change the parliamentary leadership and have a leader whose domain and forte has to do with the economy to be able to lead that whole process. So this is a very important consideration.”
The NDC in a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, dated Monday, January 23, stated that it had decided to replace Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu with Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.
Other changes include Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle who has been brought in to replace Ketu North MP, James Klutse Avedzi as the Deputy Minority Leader while Kwame Governs Agbodza has also replaced Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak as the Minority Chief Whip.
Ahmed Ibrahim and Comfort Doyoe-Ghansah have, however, maintained their positions as First and Second deputy Whips respectively.