The Chief Whip on the side of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) side of Parliament, has suggested that the rejection of Prof Mike Oquaye as Speaker of Parliament, could be as a result of the “terrible” leadership style of Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the head of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side.
In the estimation of Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, an ex-Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, has not been a good leader.
He suggested that Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu is selfish, hence does not build consensus because he lacks team spirit. The result is that most of his colleague NPP MPs, either don’t respect him or are unwilling to abide by his dictates.
“Honourable Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is a nice gentleman when it comes to the House and the workings of the House, you can’t take that away from him, but as a leader, he is a very terrible one. He doesn’t know how to carry people along”.
According to the MP for Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has been at the leadership position of the NPP in Parliament for many years, however, every four years, those he serves are strangely changed, while he continues to be there.
This to him means as a leader, he doesn’t know how to carry people along, adding this makes him “a terrible leader”.
Speaking on The Probe show hosted by Emefa Apawu on JoyNews TV a Multimedia platform last Sunday, Muntaka Mubarak, cited several instances where those around Kyei Mensah were changed, but he alone remained.
Muntaka Mubarak, mentioned that in 2009, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu was made Minority Leader with Ambrose Dery, the MP from Nandom Constituency, as his deputy and Frederick Opare-Ansah, as Chief Whip and Gifty Kusi, as his Deputy Chief Whip, but this list was to change in 2013, when he Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu remained, but others changed.
In 2013, Ambrose Dery, was voted out of Parliament, but all others retained their seats, however, Dominic Nitiwul of the Bimbila Constituency became Deputy Minority Leader with Dan Botwe of the Okere Constituency, replacing Opare-Ansah of the Suhum Constituency as Minority Chief Whip and Irene Naa Toshie, as Deputy Minority Chief Whip and Ignatius Baffauor-Awuah, as the other deputy.
Again in 2017, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu remained in office as Majority Leader, but with a fresh team namely; Sarah Adwoa Safo as his deputy, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh MP for Sunyani East constituency as his Chief Whip, Matthew Nyindam, First Deputy Majority Whip and Moses Anim Second Deputy. Naa Torshie, had lost her primary at Tema West.
Then in 2021, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak lamented that Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has once again, dropped his team and replaced them with Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, the MP for the Effutu constituency as Deputy Majority Leader, Frank Annoh-Dompreh MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri as Chief Whip, the Tolon MP, Habib Iddrisu and the Ayawaso West-Wuogon MP, Lydia Alhassan, as deputy chip whips.
The Herald, has meanwhile picked up reports that during the NPP National Council meeting which decided on tabling Mike Ocquaye as Speaker and the leadership of the party in the House, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, wanted OB Amoah, as part of the team, then later changed to Annoh-Dompreh, then back to OB Amoah.
Kyei-Mensah Bonsu’s flip-flopping during the said meeting, The Herald learnt, angered President Akufo-Addo, who burst out and tore into his leadership.
Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, has also been on Angel FM, labelling Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu a “liar” and “a very terrible leader” who lacks the acumen and will to groom new leaders under him.
He also described the Suame lawmaker, as a liar for making claims that the Speaker of Parliament was selected by consensus and not through the election and also that the NDC managed to bribe some NPP MPs to vote against Prof Mike Ocquaye.
“I wonder what his party thinks,” Muntaka said of Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, adding “Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu failed his side. When we told him you’re not reaching out to us, looking at the number we have, he was just calling us bluff. While we were planning and strategizing.”
Muntaka was reacting to a news story that Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, had alleged that NDC bribed some MPs on NPP’s side.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Angel FM, the Suame Member of Parliament said: “I heard rumours that the NDC was trying to bribe some of our members to vote against Speaker Oquaye, so I quickly called those whose name was mentioned to speak with them; others too had some unresolved issues with him and had said they would not vote for him. I met all those members in the hotel and spoke at length with them to rescind their decision, but it practically fell on deaf ears”.
He reiterated claims that the voting in Parliament, was inconclusive and that the Speakership position was conferred on Alban Sumana Bagbin, in order to make way for the President’s investiture.
“It is never true that Bagbin won the votes by 138 votes; at a point, we realised that the NDC Caucus was bent on frustrating the process and thereby delaying the coronation of President Akufo-Addo, so we had to build consensus and give in to their demands to save time”.
“It would have been a disgrace for Ghana if we hadn’t allowed consensus and let the NDC Caucus have its way; a lot of the international dignitaries had to return to their countries so we could not delay the investiture of President Akufo-Addo”.
Muntaka, pooh-poohed those claims revealing that in his opinion, Kyei Mensah Bonsu, is suffering from hangover, because he is used to having his way with huge numbers (169) in the 7th Parliament and hence finds himself in a “hangover” with 137.
Muntaka advised the NPP leader in parliament to cure the “hangover”.
It had emerged that the soldiers who stormed Parliament on Thursday, January 7, 2021, did not just leave, but left behind t threats on some of the MPs.
The General Secretary of the NDC, has also gone after the same Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, making chilling revelations about his past life which has made it difficult for him to be considered for Ministerial appointment since President Kufuor’s time.
According to him, he was in parliament with Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, when issues surrounding how he changed his name from Lawrence Addae to Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu came up, revealing that the Suame lawmaker knows “we know everything” hence he settles for parliamentary leadership where there is no vetting.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said this dark past of Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is why he has always stayed in parliamentary leadership of his party without lobbying for a ministerial appointment, which will require him to be publicly vetted and where the issue could be used against him.
According to various reports in the past, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is said to be coy when it comes to any discussion of his days in secondary school where he was dismissed unruly activities and had to prepare at home to write his final exams while in 6th Form.
He was able to write his exams because his parents had to go and beg on his behalf.
He is said to have changed his name to Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu while entering university due to the incident which led to his dismissal from St. Peters Secondary School (a school he is said to have attended in the mid-1970s) for allegedly breaking into the school’s stores among others.
He demanded that Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu produces his primary certificates and class register to douse the claim that he was once sacked from school before stated misconduct and had to change his name at a point in his life. He insisted that, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has not been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the claim of misconduct is untrue.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, onetime MP for Wenchi West constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, said this issue came up in Parliament and was used as the reasons why he is not taken up ministerial appointments the day’s President Kufuor for fear that the embarrassing issue could come up at his vetting, hence hides in Parliamentary appointments as Majority Leader, Chief Whip among others to avoid this issue from coming up.
He was unhappy with Kyei-Mensah’s conduct on the day of election of the Speaker of Parliament and the embarrassing scene of sending Carlos Ahenkorah to go and snatch ballot papers, insisting the NPP leader in Parliament, has a history of misconduct.
He wants Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu punished for openly encouraging unconstitutional acts by asking his side to do open ballots, instead of secret balloting.
He insisted that, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu was the one who encouraged Carlos Ahenkorah to snatch the ballots.
Meanwhile, others appear vested in the matter of Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. Mynews Ghana reports on the matter that at the time, a letter was written to his father, one Mr. J.K Addae, by the Assistant Headmaster, informing him of his ward’s activities in the school. The suspension letter urged the cooperation of his parents for the suspension over their son’s conduct.
The reports said his original name was actually Lawrence Addae, before the alleged incident which earned him disgrace in his teenage years until he decided to put his past behind, turn over a new leaf and gained admission into the then University of Science and Technology (now known as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST) for a Bachelor’s degree in Designing.
He allegedly changed his name from Lawrence Addae to Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in the late 1970s, as contained in a circular disseminated by the then Director of Academic responsible for Students Affairs. The circular was numbered 2573/Vol.1 of August 9, 1979.