On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 when Members of Parliament met to consider reports of the Apportionments Committee, social media was flooded with information that 12 NDC MPs were absent. Supporters of the NDC were incensed by what they considered to be an unpleasant news. They could not fathom why NDC MPs would absent themselves at that crucial moment when their votes was needed to reject some unfit nominees.
After proceedings which has left supporters of the NDC dejected, a lot of people have been seeking to know which of their MPs were absent on March 3. For the records, it is not true that 12 NDC MPs were absent on the day the nominees were approved. Minutes of March 3 as captured on the Votes and Proceedings of Parliament indicate that 263 MPs were present on that faithful day. Out of this number, 135 (independent candidate included) of them were NPP MPs while 127 of them were NDC MPs.
This means that none of the two sides had the full compliment of their Members present. The figure also shows that while 2 NPP MPs were absent on that day, as many as 10 NDC MPs were also absent. But of course the NPP had more members in the House on that day than NDC. For the NPP, Ebenezer Kojo Kum of Ahanta West and Kyeremeh Nelson of Berekum East were absent without permission.
In the case of the NDC, two MPs, namely Dr Kwabena Donkor of Pru East and Kwame Twumasi Ampofo of Sene West were absent with permission. However, the following NDC MPs, eight of them, were absent without permission:
1. Dr Hamza Adam – Kumbungu
2. Teddy Addi – Ayensuano
3. Braimah Muhammed Bawah – Ejura Sekyeredumase
4. Kini Geoffrey – Nkwanta South
5. Oscar Ofori Larbi – Aowin
6. Desmond De-Graft Paitoo – Gomoa East
7. Dr Augustine Tawiah – Bia East
8. Abukari Dawuni – Wulensi
There is a school of thought that the 10 absentee NDC MPs can only be blamed for the approval of the nominees if all 127 NDC MPs present in the House had voted against the approval of the nominees. But reports from the House indicate that the nominees had more than 135 votes, indicating that some NDC MPs present in the House voted for the approval of the nominees – meaning the presence of the absentee MPs could not have changed anything.
There is also another school of thought that if the 10 absentee NDC MPs had shown up in the House, the Party would have gained numerical strength over the NPP since two of their MPs were absent. Even with that, the NDC side could only have achieved their aim if all of them had in mind an agenda to vote against the nominees. That was not the case. Some had predetermined mind to go with the NPP.
No matter how you look at it, it is clear from the outcome of the voting that SOME NDC MPs were determined to vote along with the NPP side to approve the nominees. The conduct of the absentee MPs was not as hurtful as those NDC MPs who were present in the Chamber, took ballot papers and voted YES for approval of nominees rejected by their colleagues on the Appointments Committee.
In all, we wish our MPs who chose to dine with the NPP, though we do not know them, success in all their endeavors. The grassroots is grateful for inflicting this unbearable pains on them. This should serve as useful lesson to Party Executives to know which sitting MPs to protect in internal primaries. If I have my way, everybody should be left to face the delegates when the time comes. No preferential treatment for anybody. While at that, let me salute the unknown ones who kept faith with the grassroots and the interest of the country by voting against the nominees. We do not know you, but your maker knows you! Posterity will judge you favourably.
Amorse Blessing Amos
Deputy Greater Accra Regional Youth organizer-NDC