Two major moves made by 2 NPP stalwarts to get ‘Ken Must Go’ MPs to backdown
It is clear now that the number of Members of Parliament on the Majority side of parliament who want their own, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, out, have increased.
From the initial 80 New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs, the number has been reported to have risen to 98 in the last few days, owing from a revamped decision by the lawmakers to have the embattled minister step down.
In that first press conference to call on the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to heed to their call, the MPs also threatened to boycott government business in parliament in protest, should their request be refused.
But a few hours later, something major happened that got the ‘angry’ MPs to relax their stance.
Akufo-Addo meets NPP MPs calling for Ken Ofori-Atta’s dismissal:
Following the public declaration of disapproval of the finance minister by the MPs, an emergency meeting was conveyed at the behest of President Akufo-Addo to deliberate and understand the misgivings of the MPs towards the minister.
The major fallout from the meeting was the president’s requests to the MPs to allow the finance minister three weeks to prepare the 2023 budget and conclude negotiations with the International Monetary fund.
Speaking to Oyerepa TV, the Member of Parliament for Efiduase Asokore, Nana Ayew Afriyie, stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to act in a manner that will not require the MPs to come back to him.
“He [Akufo-Addo] promised us this way, after the end of the budget it won’t be necessary for us to come to him because of what he would do about the finance minister, because by then, there will be no need to come back to him,” he said.
Ayew Afriyie said the president also mentioned four decisions he will take with regard to the matter.
“He can do any of the following: sack the finance minister, reshuffle, re-assignment, or a replacement. He will do something that will not require us to come back to him,” Ayew Afriyie said.
He however added that: “Even if the economy bounces back, we still want Ofori-Atta and Charles Adu Boahen to be gone.”
And then after a while – when the NPP MPs seemed to have been living by the request of the president, they returned to state that they want him out again.
This time, the number shot up to 98.
And while this happened at a time an ad hoc committee in parliament, put together by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, to look into a vote of censure on the finance minister, the MPs insisted on still pushing for Ofori-Atta to be sacked.
President Kufuor meets with 98 NPP MPs:
According to a starrfm.com.gh report, former President John Agyekum Kufuor has reportedly invited the 98 NPP MPs threatening to boycott the 2023 budget presentation should the current finance minister go ahead to read it in parliament.
The meeting Starr News understands is for the former leader to resolve the standoff that has prevailed over the past weeks.
Spokesperson for the agitating MPs, Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, publicly announced the decision and stated that they have resolved to get Ken Ofori-Atta out this time.
He stressed that they are convinced it is time for the beleaguered finance minister to leave, amid the minority censure motion laid in the House against him.
“We’ve gone back to (our demand for the President to) sack him now and therefore should the budget be presented under the stamp of the finance minister, we’ll not participate because as far as we’re concerned we’re never going to do business with him.
“And if we’re not going to do business with him, he does not participate in any process from the Presidency to the House. We will not participate in deliberations too,” Appiah-Kubi said.
It remains to be seen whether the group will compromise its position the second time after the former president’s intervention.