Members of Parliament (MPs) from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) eyeing a return to the August House in 2025, are exhibiting signs of apprehension ahead of the party primaries scheduled for January 27, 2024.
While, many according to party insiders look beatable, so far, three of them have openly stepped out claiming inadequate protection from the governing party, emphasizing that Ghana’s democracy would be the greatest loser.
Among the vocal MPs are, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation and MP for Ablekuma West; Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, MP for Asante Akim Central; and KT Hammond, the Trade and Industry Minister.
Mr. Anyimadu-Antwi, criticized the NPP for its failure to protect experienced MPs and expressed concern over the departure of 18 experienced MPs, including Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu from parliament.
The MP, who is seeking re-election for a fifth term, is currently engaged in a highly competitive race with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Programme (NEIP), Kofi Ofosu Nkansah.
He has suggested that, the NPP, should have emulated the National Democratic Congress (NDC) by protecting experienced members within the caucus.
“Once you stay in Parliament for long, you get to know the law. Look at what the NDC is doing, they protected all the good materials in the party and I thought that the NPP would follow or copy the example of the NDC but I am not seeing that here.
“We have a whole constituency secretary orchestrating a diabolic plan to remove a peaceful Member of Parliament,” Mr Anyimadu-Antwi said on Citi FM.
Asked what the NPP should have done to protect experienced MPs, Mr Anyimadu-Antwi responded, “I think that as a Democratic Party what we can do is to have a very fair and transparent election and with that, the experienced ones will come back to Parliament.”
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who nearly lost her seat in the 2020 general elections, emphasized the importance of retaining experienced MPs during the upcoming NPP primaries and general elections.
She underscored the vital role played by seasoned legislators in educating and mentoring new members, emphasizing knowledge transfer for the effective functioning of the legislative body.
She urged Ghanaians to strongly consider keeping experienced MPs in office during the upcoming NPP primaries and the general elections.
The Minister noted that the resignation of a significant number of seasoned MPs from both political parties could pose substantial challenges for the next administration in Parliament.
The Ablekuma West MP, made the remarks in an interview on Accra-based UTV.
The Ablekuma West MP, stressed that knowledge transfer from veteran parliamentarians is crucial for the effective functioning of the legislative body.
“Next Parliament will suffer. The majority of the MPs bowing out are very experienced.”
Drawing on her own experience, Ursula cited OB Amoah as an example of how seasoned MPs contribute to the development of their colleagues.
She mentioned how OB Amoah provided guidance and mentorship to her when she first assumed office.
Recognizing the demanding nature of parliamentary work, Ursula underscored the importance of prioritizing the education of new MPs to ensure their effective participation in legislative processes.
“So we, the experienced ones who have decided to continue the race, I’ll urge the delegates to consider that and retain us.”
Interestingly, an attempt by Kwabena Tahir Hammond to go unopposed was thwarted by the National Executive Committee of the NPP.
They rejected a petition by the Trade and Industry Minister, seeking to disqualify his opponents in the party’s Adansi Asokwa parliamentary primary.
The man affectionately called “KT Hammond” petitioned the National Executive Committee, alleging that his opponents – Samuel Dakwa Binfoh, Dr Enoch Acheampong, and Kwabena Nkansah Asamoah, are not card-bearing members of the party and have not done any work in the constituency to merit representing the constituents.
He argued that, they are ineligible to contest the poll based on Articles 12(4) and (7) of the NPP’s constitution.
However, the National Executive Committee, during its meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, rejected the petition, clearing the three opponents to contest in the January 27 primaries.
Meanwhile, 33 NPP Members of Parliament are going unopposed in the primaries.