NDC impasse confirms long-held rivalry between Mahama and Haruna Iddrisu – Sylvester Tetteh
Vice Chair of the Communications Committee of Parliament, Sylvester Tetteh, says the impasse within the ranks of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) following the reshuffle of their parliamentary leadership is evidence of the deep cracks within the party.
He alleged that the reshuffle by the national leaders of the party was being used as a vehicle to reward Members of Parliament who had declared support for the National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and to safeguard the candidacy of John Mahama as the party’s torch bearer in the upcoming 2024 elections.
“Haruna Iddrisu issued a disclaimer after Ahmed Ibrahim said that the Minority Leader has sent him to send a message to delegates that Parliament is with Asiedu Nketia. And he issued a disclaimer that ‘no, I didn’t say so.’ And so when he [Asiedu Nketia] won, obviously, I expected this to happen.
“It was obvious that right after the elections, those who supported and publicly declared support for the national chairman have been maintained and those who opposed have been kicked out.”
According to him, John Mahama and Haruna Iddrisu’s alleged rivalry also played a key role in the reshuffle.
“And of course when Dr. Duffour was asked ‘if you’re elected the flagbearer, who in the NDC would you consider being your running mate?’ and he quickly said ‘Bagbin is there, Haruna is there so I can pick any of them.’ Once Haruna’s name is mentioned he becomes a threat to John Mahama.
“‘Get rid of him so that he doesn’t become the running mate. If he has an ambition to become a running mate then obviously he’ll go against me.’ These are things being discussed among the NDC and we hear it every day,” he said.
He further added that the outgone Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak’s exit was occasioned by his squabbles with the Speaker, Alban Bagbin.
“There’s been long running battle between the Speaker and the outgone Chief Whip, Muntaka, in Parliament. We all know. So it was obvious that the system was not comfortable with him, they’ll get rid of him,” he said.
He admits that while the newly appointed Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, is an exemplary Member of Parliament, the NDC leadership’s justification for his appointment is not sound.
According to him, if Asideu Nketia insists that Dr. Ato Forson was appointed because of his economics background and the role the issues concerning the economy will play in the upcoming 2024 elections, then same rule should apply when selecting a flag bearer for the party.
“And the worst of all this is that the reason for this is to say that the 2024 elections will be fought on a line of economics for that reason they need Ato … But if the explanation is that they need an economist or a finance person to lead them in Parliament, 137 people, then what about the one you’re seeking to lead 30 million people who is not an economist?
“You see the confusion NDC itself is in? You’re telling us that 137 people should be led by an economist, but the one you’re seeking, a preemptive leader you’re seeking for the NDC to lead this country is not an economist,” he said.