Veteran politician Enoch Teye Mensah has lamented his inability to contest for a seat on the Council of State because of an overly partisan resistance to his bid.
Decrying the partisan gridlock on issues in Ghana, the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of parliament for Ningo-Prampram says Ghana stands to lose if it does not create an atmosphere that encourages all-inclusiveness.
‘I think we need to grow…the mischief is too much”, the former NDC MP weighed in on his last-minute withdrawal from the race for the Council of State citing personal reasons.
But speaking on Joy News channel, The Pulse Friday, ET Mensah explained that his decision to step down was because of pressure from his grandchildren.
He says his grandchildren some of whom are in the US read of the insults on the internet and verbal attacks on him after his decision to contest the Greater Accra regional slot on the Council of State became public.
Prevailing on him to withdraw, his grandchildren told him ‘ this is not worth it’.
For the former Ningo-Prapram MP who has been in parliament for 20 years believes the resistance from NDC supporters is a missed opportunity to deepen bi-partisanship.
“I knew they did not know what they were doing,” he said.
According to the former Sports minister, while it may look like the NDC and New Patriotic Party (NPP) are rivals, the situation is very different in parliament during committee sittings.
He said NPP and NDC MPs have very cordial relationships and discuss issues dispassionately in the spirit of cooperation.
This kind of cooperation and cordial respect also goes on at the Council of State hence his intention to play a role there was not out of place, he argued.
He said the Council of State is not for NPP members while observing that there are people of different political persuasions on the Council.
Why not him, he suggested. He said all his political life, he has set an example in speech and conduct.
“Have you ever heard me insult anybody from President Kufuor to President Akufo-Addo? I am never that kind of person,” he said.
He explained he was encouraged by leading personalities in the NPP and NDC to contest for the slot. He disclosed that NPP persons called on him to move up to statesman role following the end of his parliamentary career.
The NDC Greater Accra Council of Elders after deliberating on the matter also backed him to go for the elections.
At an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) forum, he met leading members of society like Archbishop Palmer-Buckle who were happy to learn of his decision to vie for a Council of State seat.
His last-minute withdrawal is because some other sections in the NDC were angry about what they believed is a move to join the NPP government.
They also demonstrated a level of ignorance about the work at the Council of State, scuttling his desire to serve as a statesman.