Majority Leader in Parliament, Benjamin Kumbour, has categorically stated that there is no prevailing bad blood in his relationship with President John Dramani Mahama.
According to him, his relationship with the president cannot be underestimated and so, doubted the basis for the reports purportedly pointing to his excommunication from the President’s inner circle of decision-makers; cabinet.
His comment comes on the back of media reports suggesting that the President is at loggerheads with several key personalities “who are seen as posing some kind of threat to his decision to exert firm grips on the ruling party.”
“One of such personalities is the Majority Leader in Parliament and Minister for Government Business, Benjamin Kumbour. The rift between President Mahama and Dr. Kumbour has become so critical that the President is said to be unprepared to meet his Minister for Government Business for interactions to enable him know what is going on in government.
“This has contributed in great measure to the virtual grinding of governance and administration of the nation to a halt…Dr. Kumbour, the Majority Leader, has complained bitterly about being kept in the dark about what is going on in the Mahama administration, even though he is the one to champion the business of government in Parliament”, asserts the “New Statesman” newspaper in its Thursday publication.
But speaking in an interview with “Radio Gold”, the Majority Leader denounced the claims, explaining his exact relationship with the President.
He revealed that there are no acrimonious feelings between him and the President, and wondered where such reports are emerging from because to him, if the reports are something to go by, then they would have resolved their differences maturely.
“In government, perhaps I’m the one that has the longest relationship with John, very very long…We share a common vision that what is paramount in terms of the respective roles we play is to, as much as possible, make sure that we deliver the social goods and services as a social democratic party to the people of this country. That is a shared vision. The operationalization of that vision will be done from the Presidency and I’ll be able to lead that vision in Parliament,” he defined his relationship with the President.
He added that an issue was broached on the floor of Parliament when the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, brought to the attention of the House, an error on a certain official report presented from the Presidency to Parliament in which an asterisk was placed against his name and put in the category of non-members of cabinet.
“I receive all my cabinet documents. I attend cabinet meetings. I take part in almost all the cabinet deliberations that take place. Unfortunately, there was a correspondent that came from the office of the President and was put on the official report of Parliament in which they put an asterisk against my name in terms of Minister non-cabinet…” he explained.
Expounding further, he said “the constitution vests in the President the power to constitute a government and unless that government offends that constitution, the President is at liberty to structure his government at any point in time in the manner that he deems fit and one that he will able to use to deliver social goods and services to the people of this country and that cannot be an issue for us to be questioning in Parliament as a separate arm of government.”
Though this is the prerogative of President Mahama, he however stressed that it does not affect his relations with him.
“The rules of engagement in this are clear. So, where will you have an issue of conflict and this pettiness that people will be attributing to two mature people who have been in political life for so many years?” he questioned.
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