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Why we approved incompetent Akufo-Addo ministers – Haruna Iddrisu

Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South

Mon, 3 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Minority Caucus in Parliament became the center of censure when in 2021 they approved a number of controversial ministerial nominees.

Their leadership, especially Haruna Iddrisu, received backlash from within and outside the party because of the approval of among others Hawa Koomson, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah and Ken Ofori-Atta for the Fisheries and Aquaculture, Information and Finance portfolios respectively.

The appearance of the trio before the Appointments Committee led to calls for Koomson’s rejection for failure to show competence in the area she was being nominated for whiles Oppong-Nkrumah and Ofori-Atta also had controversies relating to their private businesses.

Speaking about how and why the said ministers were approved supposedly with the help of some Minority MPs, Minority Leader and Tamale South lawmaker, Haruna Iddrisu, told Kwesi Pratt Jnr on Pan African TV’s Talk Time show that there was a dilemma with trying to stop especially an MP from becoming a Minister.

Asked about the Minority’s complicity in giving Ghana incompetent ministers, he responded: “That’s true. I’m not sure that it is my duty to give the president competent ministers as minority opposition leader. That is not my primary duty.”

He explained that it was the president’ constitutional duty to constitute and form his government to run his administration.

“We approved them and we approved them based on law. The Minority have gotten a lot of flak particularly my person on this approval and disapproval of ministers,” he admitted.

He said Article 94 defines who can be a minister, the simplest being that the person must pass for an MP, whereas the Constitution says 51% must come from Parliament. From the above, he submitted: “You can’t disqualify an MP from being a Minister.”

“At the Appointments Committee, we do our utmost best, we conduct our litmus test on policy, ministerial portfolio and competence. We look at competence whether he is fit for purpose to go into that area.

“We will look at the competence of the person, whether he is fit for purpose to go into that particular area,” revealing that the Minority were thus calling for changes to Standing Orders so that a Foreign Affairs Minister after reshuffle shouldn’t go straight to Agric Ministry because their competence in that Ministry has not been tested.

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He also explained how the secret ballot system in approval of Ministers means there was a limit to which the Minority could whip members to en bloc reject a nominee.

“If you put that to a vote and you saw the embarrassing outcome of Hawa Koomson, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Kwesi, any elected MP is an adult, I Haruna Iddrisu cannot accompany an NDC MP into a ballot box to guide him how to exercise his vote. He is responsible enough.

“Mine is to issue the party whip, which is the directive that we expect you to stand against this policy, nothing more. And as an adult, respecting the secrecy of the ballot, I cannot be held responsible,” he stressed.

SARA

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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