- Armed soldiers on Thursday, January 7, 2021, stormed the Chamber of Parliament following the continued failure of the Members of Parliament-elect to elect the Speaker for the 8th Parliament, which was characterised by persistent disorderliness.
The Citizen Eye Ghana (CITEG), a civil society organisation with focus on governance and politics, has called on President Akufo-Addo and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to as a matter of urgency, suspend the national and some regional chairpersons of the party.
The group specifically wants the National Chairman, Freddie Blay; the party’s national General Secretary, John Boadu; the Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako popularly called Chairman Wontumi; and the Central Regional Chairman, Robert Kutin Jnr to be suspended for their alleged incompetence and poor decisions.
CITEG also wants President Akufo-Addo not to reappoint the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, Director of Transport at the Presidency, Nana Oppong, Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei, and the Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Opare.
The President of CITEG, Alex Kwaku Tetteh at a press conference in Accra on Friday, January 8, 2021, said the individual and collective roles and activities of the named party executives contributed to the abysmal performance of the party in the 2020 general elections, particularly in the parliamentary elections.
He said although the party retained power, it has lost many parliamentary seats as a result of decisions by Freddie Blay, John Boadu, Antwi Boasiako and Kutin.
“We are appealing to the President and the National Executive Committee of the NPP to suspend Mr Freddie Blay the National Chairman, Chairman Kutin the Central regional Chairman, Mr Bernard Antwi Boasiako the Ashanti regional Chairman and General Secretary John Boadu for their incompetent work during their term of office”, Tetteh stated.
According to him, the activities of the accused leaders have brought disgrace to the party and the President.
Don’t reappoint Osafo Maafo and Frema Opare
Touching on why President Akufo-Addo should not reappoint the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, Director of Transport at the Presidency, Nana Oppong, and the Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Professor Stephen Adei, as well as the Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Opare, the CITEG’s President said the named individuals have demonstrated incompetence and therefore cannot help President Akufo-Addo in his second term.
Similarly, Mr Tetteh wants President Akufo-Addo not to reappoint the Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Opare since according to them, she could not properly control appointees of the President.
According to him, the Chief of Staff also could not discipline those who flouted some of the President’s directives, hence many appointees of the President particularly Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDAs) as well as some Ministers abused their office, resulting in the poor performance of the party in the just ended 2020 general elections.
“We urge the President to replace the Chief of Staff with someone who can control and has the requisite leadership skills in managing people’” Mr Tetteh stated, adding that “…fulfilling this will help NPP government to rule for a longer period of time.”
Mr. Tetteh congratulated President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on their successful swearing-in on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo to better the lives of security personnel in the country and also construct the Achiase District road that passes through Assin Fosu.
Mr Tetteh also congratulated the newly sworn-in Speaker of the 8th Parliament, Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin and members of the 8th Parliament.
He, however, condemned the chaotic activities that characterised the dissolution of the 7th Parliament and subsequent election of a new Speaker for the 8th Parliament, calling on President Akufo-Addo to set up a committee to investigate the issues that transpired on the floor of parliament on Thursday, January 7, 2021.
Drama, chaos in Parliament
Armed soldiers on Thursday, January 7, 2021, stormed the Chamber of Parliament following the continued failure of the Members of Parliament-elect to elect the Speaker for the 8th Parliament, which was characterised by persistent disorderliness.
The soldiers, numbering about 20, emerged in the Chamber together with armed policemen ostensibly to restore calm.
The well-armed security detail, with some having facemasks, came to the floor of Parliament at about 3.30 a.m. reportedly on the orders of the former Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul. He has since denied the allegation saying the security personnel could not have been called in by anyone other than the Marshalls of Parliament.
He insists that the intervention of the security detail saved Ghana’s democracy and so should be praised instead of being vilified.
The appearance of the military rocked the nerves of the legislators especially members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Singing the national anthem and other patriotic songs, the then NDC MPs-elect resisted the presence of the military men in the Chamber, asking them to leave.
Standing their ground, the NDC MPs were heard saying that until the military left the Chamber no vote for the next Speaker was going to take place.