Ato Forson's first statement as Minority Leader - We’ll work to unite and represent collective goals of Minority Caucus
The new Minority Leader in Parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson has appealed to the rank and file of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to keep calm as he and the caucus leaders will work with due diligence to represent the collective goals of the party.
In his first public statement after last Tuesday's announcement that he has replaced Haruna Iddrisu as Minority Leader, Dr Ato Forson assured that as the new leader, he would pursue the interest of the NDC with unwavering dedication and high integrity.
He, therefore, called for the support of the entire Minority Caucus in Parliament so “we shall succeed”.
I’ll unite Minority Caucus
Addressing the press in Parliament Thursday morning (Jan 26, 2023), Dr Forson said “My number one agenda is to unite the Minority Caucus.
“Things of this nature (change) happen but obviously there is the need for us to show leadership and we will do just that. I will appeal to the rank and file of our great NDC party to keep calm; members of Parliament are in good hands and we will work with them with due diligence,” he stated.
He was joined at the maiden press conference by the new Minority Chief Whip, Governs Kwame Agbodza, and the retained First Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim.
The MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam noted that obviously he and other newly appointed leaders of the Minority Caucus were not new in Parliament.
He said he had been in the House for 14 years and had known the capabilities of “all our colleagues, some I met and some I came to meet”.
“I have worked closely with most of our colleagues and I can assure you that together we shall succeed,” he said.
He indicated he had been humbled that he had been chosen to lead “our gallant NDC Minority Caucus” in Ghana’s Parliament
“I wish to use this opportunity again to thank the leadership of our great NDC party who have placed their trust and confidence in me.
“I am also deeply grateful to our colleagues, the rank and file of our party the NDC, and the people of Ghana for their profound support and solidarity,” he said.
Dr Forson pointed out that as part of the reconciliation process, he had had “truthful, positive and in fact frank” conversation with the outgoing Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.
“I commended him for his admirable leadership and stewardship when he was granted opportunity by the party,” he said.
Dwelling on his agenda as a leader, he said most importantly, he would focus the next month to tackle three things.
First, he said the governing party must know that the people of Ghana were calling on them to downsize the government to reflect the mood of the country.
“You are asking people to forgo their coupons (interest) and you are asking the ordinary Ghanaian to sacrifice his payouts.
“So therefore, if his Excellency the President intends to reshuffle his government, let it be known that we in the NDC will not accept an attempt to increase the size of government and if the current size of his ministers increase by one, that one person may not receive our cooperation,” he said.
He also assured Ghanaians that as part of “our engagements” with the Finance and Health committees, there has been an agreement to hold a public hearing on the COVID-19 expenditure, beginning February 7, 2023.
“At that point, we will pay due diligence to the duties given to us by the people of Ghana.
“Finally, we will embark on a roadshow where we will galvanise the people of Ghana and educate them on the meaning what this economic crisis is going to take us through,” he said.