The Minority Leader of Parliament has dispelled allegations that the appointment of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia to the Parliamentary Service Board was a bargaining chip for the consensus approval of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
Haruna Iddrisu at a press briefing on Wednesday said he nominated the NDC General Secretary unto the Board days before President Akufo-Addo named his ministerial nominees.
“The discussion of members of the Parliamentary Service Board, ensued long before Ken Ofori-Atta was nominated as Minister Designate for Finance. I had a discussion with the Speaker a day after his elections and it was my view that he allows the two leaders (Majority and Minority Leaders) to nominate one person each to the Board.
“Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu brought in Abraham Ossei Aidooh and I suggested, Asiedu Nketia because they are all former Members of Parliament. So his [Aseidu Nketia’s] appointment has practically nothing to do with [it],” he said referring to Ofori-Atta’s approval.
He continued, “This is just the usual viciousness, malicious and despicable lies to tie the two together. Mr Asiedu Nketia is as qualified as any Ghanaian to serve on the Board.”
The Tamale South lawmaker, also added that the delay in announcing it has nothing to do with the approval of the Finance Minister and asked that the Parliamentary Service Board members be allowed to “bring their expertise to build a responsible and accountable Parliament but not allow partisan excesses into the work against the operation of Parliament.”
Meanwhile, Mr Aseidu Nketia says it was in the party’s interest to approve Ken Ofori-Atta as the Finance Minister.
According to him, “if Akufo-Addo thinks that he wants a lame-duck as Minister of Finance, he should have it.”
“There was a party decision that let President Akufo-Addo have his Finance Minister and that has been achieved so what is all these details about who agreed and who didn’t agree. The point is that this was a party decision and it has been implemented so that is the end of the story,” he stated.
Whilst claiming that the President’s decision to retain Mr Ofori-Atta weakens the economy, he said it would possibly lead to the victory of the NDC in the 2024 general election.
“The ordinary person who has no food to eat, cannot pay the water bills does not care who is approving whom where so the matters of the day are the issues they have to go to constituency to deal with.
“So our MPs would go back and then deal with the situation that affects the daily lives of Ghanaians and as I told you, somebody who is having a toothache doesn’t care whether Afghanistan is being bombed elsewhere. There are certain things that are considered extraneous to the average grass root person who cannot find where his next meal is coming from,” he said.
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