I beg to differ, in fact, NPP leadership must be blamed for Prof. Mike Oquaye’s defeat

Mike Oquaye Sldkd998 Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, Former Speaker of Parliament

Tue, 12 Jan 2021 Source: Bismark Nortey

I have read a supposed rebuttal from one Alhaji Iddi Muhayu-Deen, who holds himself as the Press Aide to the NPP General Secretary, John Boadu. In the said statement, “RE: blame NPP leadership for Prof Mike Oquaye’s defeat – NPP leadership sets the records straight on the matter” Mr John Boadu through his aide tried to vainly set the records straight. The response bats on a sticky wicket!

The NPP leadership failed the party and must be blamed for Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye’s defeat. Any right-thinking and reasonable person knows this for a fact. Mr Boadu and his unfit bunch of executives and parliamentary leadership should excuse us with their implausible story. It is cock and bull!

I am shocked to read from John Boadu’s rebuttal that he spent the night in Parliament keenly observing proceedings and communicating with members and leadership of the NPP Majority Caucus on critical matters that were before them. Yes, I saw him [John Boadu], on national television, observing proceedings while on a jolly romantic date with his newest found inamorata.

I saw a rather serious and determined Mr Asiedu Nketia concentrated on ensuring victory for the NDC Minority at least on the one or two occasions when the camera was focused on him.

The statement sought to give the impression that Mr Boadu spent all night communicating with members and leadership of the NPP Majority Caucus on critical matters that were before them. Further, he makes the point that during the deadlock, he [Mr. Boadu] played an instrumental role in getting the NDC side to agree to support the NPP’s proposal to have Hon. Joe Osei Owusu and Hon. Amoako Asiamah, elected on consensus, as First and Second Deputy Speakers respectively. The impudence! First-ever, for a majority side to fail in its bid to get their Speaker nominee defeated and you want to receive applause for a yeoman’s job?

Give us a break! What critical matters came to the attention of Mr Boadu and his executives? And what advice did they give to ensure victory for Prof. Oquaye? John Boadu and the executives of the NPP should be ashamed and keep clutching at straws with this abysmal performance.

How on earth can you have a majority and lose an election? How? If after organizing a 2-day strategic retreat for all the 138 MPs-Elect, and you fail to annex the speakership position, I am sorry, you have failed!

The fact remains that the NPP leadership with John Boadu and the Majority Parliamentary leadership failed! Leadership had no Plan!

1. Even with prior intel, two (2) clear days before the inauguration that the NDC Minority would cause a scene in parliament by going to sit at the majority side. The leadership did absolutely nothing to thwart the plan. Rather, as a ruling party, the opposition minority displayed blustering swaggering conduct of youthful bravado to have their way. This is a leadership failure.

2. It still beats my mind how a caucus with the majority would go into an election and dreaded the secret ballot provision of Standing Order 9(5) which states that “Each ballot paper shall be folded so that the name is written on it cannot be seen. The ballot papers shall then be collected by an officer of Parliament and counted at the Table by the Clerk who shall then declare the result”. A whole majority with the numbers ‘afraid’ of a secret ballot and rather wanted the members to show their votes to the whip? It only meant that going into the election of the Speaker, the Party Leadership were aware that they could not trust some of its members to vote for the party’s choice.

Ironically, the NDC who were rather in the minority stood on their grounds to ensure that the ballots were cast secretly because even with their smaller number, they were sure and could trust their members. They planned and prepared. Same cannot be said of the majority leadership. Truth be told, the majority was not sure of all its members voting for Prof. Oquaye. The leadership fought this which resulted in the unnecessary delay, rancour, violence and the unpopular decision of bringing armed military men into the chamber of Parliament.

Clearly, the majority leadership knew from the word go that they could not count on the votes of all the 138 MP elects and did nothing about it. Again, John Boadu and the leadership failed and must be blamed for Prof. Oquaye’s defeat.

3. Even with the upper hand, the leadership failed to lobby the minority. Basic Politics 101! The leadership went into such a close election and could not lobby the minority who had absolutely nothing to lose in the election of Speaker. The party leadership failed President Akufo-Addo and the NPP. Such wanton failure and you want the whole world to clap for you?

The argument that the NDC Caucus was bent on frustrating the process and thereby delaying the coronation of President Akufo-Addo, so the majority needed to build consensus and give in to their demands to save time as attributed to the party leadership is neither here nor there.

I submit without equivocation that the delay was as a result of the debate on the qualification or otherwise of the Assin North Member of Parliament-Elect, James Gyakye Quayson to participate in the election and whether or not the ballot should be cast secretly.

If John Boadu and his bunch of leadership had a plan and we're sure of getting all the 138 votes, the contemptuous act of the Assin North Member of Parliament-Elect, Mr Quayson to participate in the election would not have resulted in Prof. Oquaye failing to become the Speaker of the 8th parliament. Also, the un-parliamentary violence that was witnessed just because of ensuring secret ballots would not have occurred if there was proper planning in place.

The NPP leadership is to be blamed squarely for the failure to elect Prof. Oquaye as Speaker.

The statement therefore from Mr John Boadu which sought to set the records straight is dead in the water.

Bismark Nortey

Elizabeth Rd.

Agblizaa, Teshie

Columnist: Bismark Nortey
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