Avoka Leads NDC MPs

AFTER CREATING a great deal of brouhaha in the media, the Majority National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus in Parliament has finally bowed to the wishes of President John

Atta Mills and named former Interior Minister and MP for Zebilla, Cletus Apul Avoka, as its leader.

President Mills came under a barrage of criticisms from the ruling NDC MPs for apparently putting out Avoka’s name as their leader without consulting them, resulting in a series of crunch meetings on the matter among the legislators, party gurus and the President at the seat of government.

However, after days of heated negotiations and consultations, the NDC MPs decided to yield to the demands of the President yesterday.

Another chosen candidate of the President, Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, former Youth and Sports Minister and MP for Wa Central, was given the nod as the Deputy Majority Leader whilst Gershon Kofi Bediako Gbediame, MP for Nkwanta South, becomes the new Majority Chief Whip, replacing E.T. Mensah, Minister-designate for Employment and Social Welfare.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that Hajia Mary Salifu Boforo, MP for Savelugu, will occupy the position of 1st Deputy Majority Whip, with George Kuntu Blankson, MP for Mfantseman East, as the 2nd Deputy Majority Whip.

It would be recalled that the issue of the Majority Leader cropped up after three front benchers and leaders of the majority side in Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin, Majority Leader in Parliament; John Akologu Tia, Deputy Majority Leader and Enoch Teye Mensah, Majority Chief Whip, were nominated for ministerial portfolios by President Mills in his maiden cabinet reshuffle.

Subsequent pronouncements by Avoka that he had been proposed by President Mills as Majority Leader, was greeted with condemnation and outright rejection from NDC MPs who thought they had not been consulted on the matter, resulting in a crisis meeting at the presidency, during which President Mills reportedly denied making such a proposal.  

NDC MPs, DAILY GUIDE learnt, were peeved because of the way the matter was initially handled and after sober reflections and a series of negotiations within the party, the legislators finally gave in to the whims and caprices of the President, with the endorsement of Mr Avoka to lead the Majority caucus, as according to them, he was capable of doing so.

Michael Teye Nyaunu, MP for Lower Manya, an unrepentant critic of President Mills, told Joy News yesterday that they resisted earlier due to lack of consultation, adding they finally agreed because there had now been adequate consultation.

By Awudu Mahama