A leading member of of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Samson Asaki Awingobit has condemned parliamentarians for misconducting themselves during the election of a new Speaker.
According to him, the actions of the parliamentarians were debasing, retrogressive, an affront to the otherwise enviable democracy of the people’s Republic, and an assault on the independence and sovereign will of the Ghanaian people.
In a statement he said, “The events of Thursday 7th January at best ridiculed Ghanaians and brought the name of the country into disrepute, by men and women supposed to be foremost ambassadors of calm, order, and the respect, Ghanaians customarily exhibits.”
Below is a statement:
*OFFICE OF SAMSON ASAKI AWINGOBIT* *( Leading Member of the People’s National Convention PNC)*
I join the many voices of well-meaning Ghanaians in condemning the unfortunate chaos that characterised the inauguration of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
They were debasing, retrogressive, an affront to the otherwise enviable democracy of the people’s Republic, and an assault on the independence and sovereign will of the Ghanaian people.
The events of Thursday 7th January at best ridiculed Ghanaians and brought the name of the country into disrepute, by men and women supposed to be foremost ambassadors of calm, order, and the respect, Ghanaians customarily exhibits.
Most unfortunate of the day was the military cum police invasion of the People’s Chamber; *the one independent space within which the people’s representatives can speak truth to power without fearing the consequences, the pillar of the people’s fundamental rights, freedoms and privileges, and the last symbol of the people’s right to participate in their government.*
issued the order? Was it the President-elect, Nana Address Danica Akufo-Addo? Or the Acting President, Chief Justice Anin? Or the Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul whose tenure had expired together with the mandate of his boss? Or the Minister for the Interior whose tenure had also ended? On what authority were these orders issued? Were the ramifications thought-through?
Were the Marshal of Parliament, Col. (Rtd) John Buntugu, and the Commander of the Parliamentary Police station, Freeman Tettey aware of the order to invade the people’s Chamber? Did they endorse it? On what authority?
The Military high Command must independently investigate and reprimand the actions of the contingent detailed to Parliament. Or, could it be said, that the order to invade Parliament was with the consent and concurrence of the Military High Command?
The actions of elected MPs like Carlos Ahenkora of Tema West who snatched and attempted bolting with ballot papers, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka of Asawase, John Abdulai Jinapor of Yapei Kusawgu among others who kicked ballot boxes over and violently dismantled voting booths, Hawa Koomson of Awutu-Senya East and Ernest Norgbe of Ashaiman among others, who were engaged in brawls must be condemned in no uncertain terms.
The Front benches of both the NDC and NPP caucuses must apologise to the good people of Ghana for the unruly behaviour of their respective sides on that fateful Thursday dawn.
Unfortunately, Whips, who in Parliamentary practice are supposed to ensure sanity on their sides, were themselves caught up in the brawls. They must be condemned and they must undertake to never allow such happen under their respective watches.
The agreeably serious allegations of a Justice of the Supreme Court who secretly lobbied for the re-election of Prof. Mike Ocquaye as Speaker cannot also be swept under the carpet.
The Asawase MP, Alhaji Muntaka, should provide clear and uncontradictory evidence to substantiate these allegations.
This is more so because of the election petition about to be heard by the apex Court. If they’re proved, the Chief Justice should exclude the said Justice from the panel hearing the petition and proceed to take further adminustrative action.
It is also important that the MP substantiated the allegations for the sake of the preservation of the dignity and sanctity not just of the particular Justice, but also of the Court.
Our Constitution, 1992, calls on us individually to protect the will and sovereignty so fiercely fought for by our forebears. We must be united in our condemnation of the embarrassing chaos of Thursday January 7 in the people’s Parliament.
It is only by so doing that we demonstrate our resolve to fight the ills of our democracy.God Bless Ghana,God Bless Us All.
*signed*Samson Asaki Awingobit*a Leading Member of the People’s National Convention PNC*0243-575046