Some MPs in the Minority Caucus were compromised to break ranks with the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as far as an express directive to vote against certain ministerial nominees of President Nana Akufo-Addo is concerned, legal practitioner Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo has said.
The leadership of the NDC had directed the MPs to reject the nominations of Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto on various grounds.
Despite the 137 (NPP) – 137 (NDC) stalemate in Parliament, the nominees sailed through with ease.
This led the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, to accuse the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, and the leadership of the Caucus, Mr Haruna Iddrisu and Muntaka Mubaraka of selling their conscience and pursuing a “parochial agenda”.
Speaking on the matter on Class91.3FM’s current affairs programme ‘The Watchdog’ on Saturday, 6 March 2021, Mr Samoa Addo, who is a member of the NDC, told host Eugene Bawelle that it was “a sad day and time to be a member of the NDC in respect to that shameful exercise”, adding: “It was a shameful exercise by our members of parliament”.
“If you look on the light side of it, somebody will say they are there to be paid after a tough election, so, you can’t blame them for being practical if the election petition has gone haywire, they must as well survive, so: ‘Hey, my vote is up for grabs’”, he said.
In his view, “there was absolutely no way, in the face of the facts that are available, at least, to some of us, where the party has given clear directions and directives in respect of certain nominees; there was a complete breakdown of discipline within the rank-and-file of the parliamentary leadership when it came to whipping members in line with respect to the directives that had been given by the party leadership when it came to certain nominees”.
“And, so, when that happened, then you ask yourself: what could be the reasons for the outright disobedience of party directives in respect of certain nominees who were not supposed to have been endorsed by the NDC side?”
“If they [nominees] had gone through by way of the 138 in respect of the fact that the NPP would have the independent candidate voting for them, that would have been fine with our base but when you have – especially for somebody like Hawa Koomson – having 161, the highest, it meant that certain members of the NDC Minority had been compromised and had decided to vote the other way and that, for me and for a lot of the base of the party, was very painful and difficult to take because those particular nominees had certain issues that the base and rank of the party wanted addressed and had given reasons why they could not be passed, at least, from our side”, he explained.
To him, “it’s a betrayal of the cause”, insisting: “It is disgraceful”.
“If you look at the vim that our party put in in the election of the speaker, clearly, something went wrong”, he observed.