The Dr. Ato Forson-led new leadership of the Minority in Parliament has announced that its most immediate focus is to unite the Minority Caucus so that they would work as one crack team with a collective interest in order to achieve success for the party they belong.
“Our first responsibility is to unite the Caucus and that would be number one on the agenda. Things of this nature happen, but obviously, there is the need for us to show leadership and we would do just that”, Dr. Ato Forson stated Thursday morning in his first-ever press briefing after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) officially announced him as the new Minority Leader.
“I have held fruitful and positive and in-fact frank conversations with my senior brother, the Honourable Haruna Iddrisu. I commended him for his admirable leadership and stewardship when he was granted the opportunity by our great party to lead us.
“As a leader, It would be my duty to represent our collective goals in particular with unwavering dedication and most importantly with high integrity. I have no doubt that with the support of the entire Minority Caucus in Parliament, we shall succeed, and may the God almighty guide us and bless us all”, the Minority Leader noted.
“I would appeal to the rank and file of our great NDC party to keep calm. Members of Parliament are in good hands we would work with them with due diligence,” the Minority Leader added.
He said he is no novice in Parliament and knows his onions around the Legislature: “Obviously we are not new in this House. I have been in this House for 14 years. I know the capabilities of all our colleagues. Some I met, some came to meet me, I have worked closely with most of our colleagues and I can assure you that together we shall succeed.”
Dr. Ato Forson was flanked at the briefing by the new Minority Chief Whip, Governs Kwame Agbodza, and the retained First Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim.
The new Minority Leader unavoidably threw a few jabs at the government of the day:
“Most importantly, I would focus the next months to tackle three things: I wish to, first of all, send the message to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the people of Ghana are calling on them to downsize her government to reflect the mood of the county.
“You are asking people to forego their coupons or interests. You are asking the ordinary Ghanaian to sacrifice his payout and so therefore if His Excellency the President intends to reshuffle his government, let it be known that we in the NDC would not accept an attempt to increase the size of Government and if the current size of his Ministers increase by one, that one person would not receive our cooperation.
“We also wish to assure the people of Ghana that as part of our engagement with the Finance Committee and with the Health Committee, we have agreed to do a public hearing on the audit of the COVID-19 expenditure beginning on the 7th of February 2023. At that point, we would pay due diligence to the duty given to us by the people of Ghana.
“Finally, we would embark on a road show where we would galvanize the people of Ghana and educate them on the meaning of what this economic crisis is going to take us through”, he added.
Calls On Party
The new leadership of the Minority later in the day paid a courtesy call on the national leadership of the NDC at the party’s national headquarters.
They held a closed-door meeting to deliberate on ways to resolve grumblings tension within the party following the change in parliamentary leadership
Calls On Speaker
The leadership of the Group also paid a visit to Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin at his residence where they held a meeting with him behind closed doors.
The MP for Ellembelle, Kofi Buah who has been made the Deputy Minority Leader said that the visit formed part of their engagements.
He said, “our priority right now is to make sure we unite the caucus that is so important to us.”
“As part of these engagements, we visited the Speaker’s residence, just a courtesy call. We were warmly received. We also have benefited from his wise counsel. So we are very encouraged by it. We thanked him,” Buah added.