Calls by a section of the Majority caucus in Parliament some months ago for the sacking or resignation of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, hit a snag after President Akufo-Addo called the group to negotiate with them.
About 90 Members of Parliament rose to demand Ken Ofori-Atta’s head following the economic quagmire they said his policies have put Ghanaians through. According to the group led by Asante Akyim North Member of Parliament, Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, majority of Ghanaians have been complaining about the poor performance of the economy leading to the suffering of the masses. The group threatened not to support any government business until their demands were met.
Meanwhile, a negotiation between the group and the President halted their action pending Ghana’s journey to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, as well as completing and delivering the 2023 Budgetary Statement and Economic Policy of the government.
However, after all the timelines given by the President elapsed, the Finance Minister is still in office. The situation, is what Professor Ransford Gyampo of the University of Ghana says is a heartbreak for the entire nation.
“You disappointed us and it’s important that I put it to you whilst you’re here, because, I’ve said it somewhere [and] I say it in your face that you broke our hearts. It’s important to tell you so that those people who are around you and people who had the courage and all of a sudden, they feel that some cold water has been thrown on their zeal would also know this.
“In a democracy when some of these things begin, they are commendable and we commend you just to be able to urge you on, we don’t commend you today only for you to let us down tomorrow. I think that you have disappointed us. You still have the muscle to flex if you want to,” he told Andy Appiah-Kubi on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, July 29, 2023.
Responding to the assertion, the Asante Akyim North lawmaker said the power now lies with Parliament to act instead of the group who cannot influence any major decision in the House.
“The group doesn’t have any further muscle to go beyond what we have done but it is Parliament as a whole that has that muscle. If Parliament wants to stay with us and all of us come together…the group, how many are we? If we even vote against a certain bill and the rest of the group, –we are about 90 –vote for the bill, they will pass, so it’s the whole Parliament that can exercise the mandate of Parliament not Andy Appiah-Kubi or this very small group. So Majority caucus means that I’m not leading anymore. I’m not spokesperson for Majority caucus, I’m spokesperson for the group that came out so if it has been a majority decision, then your complaint must be lodged at the Majority Leader.”
However, South Dayi legislator, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor who was also on the show said Parliament as a whole cannot be blamed since the Minority caucus did their part to ensure the minister’s removal but for the turnaround of the group which thwarted things.
“I’m scandalised because you held a press conference and told the whole world that this was your position. At the end of the day, the entire Majority caucus took over the matter led by the Majority Leader and you said that you were not going to support the budget approval. That was your condition. Then the President calls you into a meeting and went into a negotiation. And now you make a point on this platform and says that it is now up to Parliament to flex its muscles,” he countered.
He says when the Minority resisted the motion, the Majority chickened out “so you shouldn’t sit on this platform to call Parliament to act.”