General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has revealed that his appointment to Parliament’s Service Board dates as far back as January this year.
Speaking with Emefa Apawu on The Probe Sunday, the appointed member to the Service Board dismissed reports indicating that his appointment from the Speaker was in exchange for the Minority’s approval of some ministerial nominees appointed by the President.
Refuting such reports, he intimated that “this appointment was offered to me as far back as January before the nomination of ministers by Parliament, and its institutions had to be constituted to prepare to receive and vet ministers.
“So it was around that time that this appointment was offered to me and immediately it came, I responded and gave my consent,” he stated.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, in an earlier interview, disclosed that Speaker Alban Bagbin in his many decisions including appointing Asiedu Nketia to Parliament’s Service Board is turning the House into an enclave for the NDC.
Although the Suame MP stated that he holds no grudge against the NDC General Secretary, his position in the opposition party makes his new role worrying.
But reacting to these concerns, Mr Nketia noted that affairs of Parliament do not run on the fears of the Majority leader but rather the laws stipulated in the constitution.
In addition, the NDC General Secretary insisted that concerns regarding his appointment should be directed at the Speaker and not himself.
“I didn’t appoint myself… Ask the person who took the decision, whether his decision was founded on law or was not founded at all,” he said.
Mr Asiedu Nketia also revealed that his appointment was met with opposition from some NPP members. However, Speaker Alban Bagbin resisted calls for him to rescind the decision.
“There was some lacuna. I went to ask what was happening and I was told that NPP was objecting to that appointment..This is an appointment that has been contested severely to the point I heard people saying any other person in the whole world is preferable to Asiedu Nketia. But Bagbin also said that he wanted Asiedu Nketia over any other person in the whole world. That is how he put his feet down,” he stated.
The utterances made by the Suame MP according to him, give a clear indication of a ploy to prevent his appointment.
“He [Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu] came to clear the air about some orchestrations that were cooking that maybe ‘Asiedu Nketia has changed, this position for the approval of ministers and so on.'”
He also revealed that his appointment to the Board forms part of some reasons behind the tension between the Speaker and the Majority leader.
“The argument between Bagbin and Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu were some of the underlying issues that led to the argument. But I am happy that Bagbin put his feet down,” he said.
The NDC General Secretary is of the view that concerns raised on his appointment hold no water since his experience in the governance of the country prove he deserves a space on the Parliamentary Service Board.
His experince according to him, has even been lauded by the Majority Leader.
“What I liked about the interview is that at least he recognizes my level of intelligence, he recognizes my experience because I was in Parliament four years before he (Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) came and I did 12 years in Parliament. People who have done 8 years in Parliament have served on the Parliamentary Service Board. I’ve been in Parliament for 12 years, I have been in the front bench of Parliament, backbench of Parliament….and I have chaired several parliamentary meetings and I have chaired board of state institutions.
“So I don’t know what else they expect,” he stated.
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