The National Democratic Congress (NDC), since last Friday, has been wrapped in disappointment and enveloped in a feeling of betrayal after some of its members in the Minority Caucus in Parliament, voted to approve all six ministers and deputy ministers nominated by President Akufo-Addo to fill vacant positions in his Government.
The said minority within the Minority Caucus voted in approval at a time the NDC had issued a clear directive to all its Members of Parliament to vote against the nominees as a form of protest against the current number of Ministers and deputy Ministers in Government.
The ‘do-not-approve’ directive was stated in an official statement dated Sunday February 19, signed and issued by the NDC General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey. The statement further instructed all NDC Members of Parliament to “push for a reduction in the size of government with a view to reducing the needless drain on scarce public resources.”
After overwhelming approval of the nominees of Friday, the NDC General Secretary, Fifi Kwetey, in a statement issued on Saturday, said the any NDC Member of Parliament who voted in favour of any of the six nominees had betrayed the will of the party and the will of a majority of Ghanaians.
Both former President John Mahama and the Minority Leader, Dr. Ato Forson also issued separate statements on Saturday to publicly register heir disappointments.
A number of the party’s Parliamentarians have as well vented their spleen over the matter in several radio and television interviews over the weekend
In Parliament last Friday, a total of 272 Members of Parliament cast their ballot to decide whether or not to approve the six nominees. The remaining three Members were absent. The results were as follows:
Bryan Acheampong (Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture)
167 YES votes
98 NO votes
4 rejected ballots
KT Hammond (Minister-designate for Trade and Industry)
154 YES votes
116 NO votes
1 rejected ballot
Mohammed Amin Adam (Minister of State-designate at the Ministry of Finance)
152 YES votes
117 NO votes
1 rejected ballot
Osei Bonsu Amoah (Minister of State-designate at the Ministry of Local Government)
149 YES votes
120 NO votes
Stephen Asamoah Boateng (Minister-designate for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs)
147 YES votes
122 NO votes
Dr. Stephan Amoah (Deputy Minister-designate for Trade and Industry)
146 YES votes
123 No votes
JOHN MAHAMA UNHAPPY
Former president John Mahama, a day after the votes to approve the nominees, expressed his disappointment on his Facebook wall:
“…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.
“I am also disappointed.
“Those responsible for this betrayal must do some serious soul searching and learn to place national interest over personal interest.
“Equally disappointing is the President’s refusal to seize the opportunity to realign and downsize his bloated government when the NPP flagbearer hopefuls and the Chieftaincy minister resigned.
Clearly in this time of crisis and excruciating hardships, President Akufo-Addo, his NPP administration and some of our MPs are out of tune with the mood of the Ghanaian people.
“I still believe, as I said in Ho recently, that in this time of crisis, government can still run efficiently with not more than 60 ministers.
“For our grassroots members and all Ghanaians who are disappointed by this insensitivity, I urge you not to despair.
ATO FORSON SAD
The Minority Leader, Dr. Caisel Ato Forson, , on Saturday, also lamented the outcome in a statement he issued on facebook:
“Dear Friends, 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.
“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.”
A statement signed by General Secretary Fifi Kwetey on Saturday, 25 March 2023, said: “Ghanaians would recall that the party issued a directive to the minority caucus in parliament to reject the new ministerial nominees a few weeks ago”.
“This was in alignment with the pervasive view of Ghanaians that this moment of economic crisis and financial haircuts, calls for the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government to show, by example, that it is willing to reduce its expenditure by downsizing its government among other things”, the statement noted.
“We note, however, that some MPs on the side of the NDC minority, for reasons known to themselves, elected to place their parochial interest ahead of the interest of Ghanaians”, the party said, adding, the NDC, “on behalf of Ghanaians, condemns this conduct in no uncertain terms, as, it not only betrays the expressed will of the party, but the desire of the Ghanaian people and constitutes a massive stab in the back of the good people of Ghana”.
The statement “commended highly, the leadership of the Minority Caucus in Parliament and the MPs who stayed true to the expectations of the party and the Ghanaian people” and promised: “We will stop at nothing to identify them and publicly laud them in due course”.
DO NOT APPROVE
On Sunday February 19, the NDC statement, signed and issued by the party General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey read:
“The NDC has long expressed concern over the very large size of the current government and shares the views of most Ghanaians, including Civil Society, that it must be reduced bearing in mind the current massive economic mess, the country has been plunged into by the Akufo-Addo/ Bawumia government.
“Despite numerous appeals, President Akufo-Addo has quite characteristically, remained adamant and tone deaf.
“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.”
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