The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says the party is dealing with its National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, following his attacks on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
According to him, Sammy Gyamfi’s unwarranted attack on the trio was done out of ignorance.
“It is someone who doesn’t understand the workings of Parliament that will attack out of ignorance. Parliament has its working system. Bagbin is NDC, but he is not serving NDC in Parliament as Speaker; you can’t even count him.
“So, like I said, it is ignorance… I won’t go into details about how we are handling it, but we are dealing with it at that level,” he was quoted to have said in a radio interview.
The National Communications Officer of the NDC, in a Facebook post last month, described Mr Bagbin, Haruna Iddrisu and Muntaka Mubarak as betrayers over their handling of the approval of President Akufo-Addo’s nominees for ministerial appointments.
Mr Sammy Gyamfi felt the leadership of the NDC caucus “have lost their moral authority to lead and are not fit to sit on the front bench of the NDC side of the House.”
“Comrades, the betrayal we have suffered in the hands of the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin, the leadership of our Parliamentary group, particularly Hon. Haruna Iddrissu and Hon. Muntaka Mubarak, and dozens of our own MPs, are what strengthens me to work hard for the great NDC to regain power.
“They brazenly defied the leadership of the party and betrayed the collective good for their selfish interest. And we must not let them succeed in their parochial quest to destroy the NDC, the party that has done so much for them and all of us. The shame they have brought on the party will forever hang like an albatross around their necks.
“These are hard times for all of us but we should not let the betrayal of a few quench our love for the great NDC. Rather, let it strengthen us to fight for this party. We all have an equal stake in this party. They are few, we are many. Some have sold their conscience but ours is intact. And we can work together to rebuild the party from the ashes of 3rd March 2021, which I call ‘Black Wednesday’- Our day of self-inflicted shame,” he posted on Facebook.
Bagbin fires back
But in a rebuttal, the Speaker of Parliament cautioned the NDC not to expect him to do the party’s bidding in his current position.
He said he is the Speaker of Parliament for Ghana, and not the NDC, so they would be disappointed if they expected him to will use his office to serve the party’s interest.
“Recently in the media, on social media, in particular, you have heard the blistering attack on me when I did not play any role apart from presiding [over the business of the House].
“Because I say I belong or came from a party, does he (Sammy Gyamfi) think I’m at the beck and call of the party?” Mr Bagbin asked.
He added: “Now, I don’t belong to any party. I’m the Speaker of Ghana. I’m not a Speaker of NPP; I’m not a Speaker of NDC. I’m the Speaker of Ghana, and I must hold the balance. So, decision-taking; no. My duty is to ensure that there’s an even playing field and the decision is taken, and I announce it. That is all.”
The NDC had appeared to be struggling to find its feet solidly positioned on the country’s political turf following its humiliating defeat in the 2016 and 2020 general elections.
Members had therefore banged their hopes on their parliamentary caucus to salvage the party. This followed the good number of seats it axed from the NPP in the 2020 general election and its ability to win the Speakership position.
However, the inability of the parliamentary caucus to do ‘the bidding’ of the party has set the party in flames.
Last week, the NDC North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, announced his resignation from Parliament’s Appointments Committee following the approval by consensus of Ken Ofori-Atta as the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
In a letter dated March 30, addressed to the Speaker, he claimed that his decision was “after days of careful reflection and thoughtful considerations.”
“I shall like to state that the reasons for this difficult decision are both personal and on principle,” he said in the letter.
The MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo, had publicly criticised the Minority’s decision to approve Mr Ofori-Atta. Already, some MPs, including Alhassan Suhuyini, Clement Apaak, among others, had also publicly rebuked their colleagues who passed the first set of President Akufo-Addo’s appointees.
Meanwhile, the MP for Tamale South and leader of the NDC Caucus in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, had maintained that all was well within his camp, despite reports of rift among the caucus.
According to him, his role as leader of the opposition in Parliament was unwavering, despite attempts to undermine his position.
“We look forward to cooperation and collaboration, but let not anybody exaggerate that I have more than what I have, which is known parametrically and numerically…Don’t forget that I am in Parliament in my own right as the elected Member of Parliament for Tamale South,” he told the Parliamentary Press Corps.
He said this after the party’s General Secretary had said the leadership was working to get new leadership in place for the Minority Caucus, a move that has been interpreted as an attempt to get rid of Haruna Iddrisu as the Majority Leader.