The General Secretary of the biggest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketia, has said he advised the immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, not to contest for the Speaker race for the eighth parliament because he was too old for that role.
“I warned him he was too old to be Speaker. In fact, I advised him it was time for him to dedicate time to tell his grandchildren Ananse stories and he refused and went into the contest and lost, nothing more, nothing less,” Mr Nketia said at a press conference in Accra on Friday, 8 January 2021.
His comment comes after Mr Oquaye lost the Speaker race to the NDC’s Alban Bagbin on January 7, 2021, in a chaotic election that lasted for hours.
Although the governing New Patriotic Party has a slim majority in Parliament, as the only independent MP for Fomena has declared his intention to side with the governing party in parliament, its choice of Prof Oquaye as Speaker, lost to Mr Bagbin.
It is believed a member of the NPP refused to vote for Prof Oquaye while one ballot got spoilt, giving Mr Bagbin victory to become the next Speaker of the House.
Mr Nketia noted at the press conference that the NPP, embarrassed with the outcome of the poll, approached the NDC and asked the opposition party to issue a joint statement to the effect that Prof Oquaye withdrew from the race, thus, leaving Mr Bagbin victorious but the NDC refused.
He reiterated that any attempt to make Ghanaians believe that Prof Oquaye withdrew from the race is false and that he lost the election fair and square.