Parliament mourns victims of New Zealand shooting, cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe

PARLIAMENT is yet to comment on the Kintampo and Mankessim road crashes which claimed at least 80 lives last Friday, but have sent condolences to victims of the terror attack in New Zealand and Cyclone Idai which struck Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe with a minute’s silence. 

Ghana went into a mourning mood over the weekend following the separate accidents involving five vehicles; resurrecting national discourse about road safety in the country.

The cyclone which hit the three coooountriesalomg coast of Southeast Africa on March 14, according to the United Nations has claimed at least 500 lives, rendering hundreds of thousands homeless and without food.

The terror attack at Christchurch, New Zealand, on the other hand has left at least 50 people dead and dozens injured. 

In separate statements on the international disasters in Parliament yesterday, North Tongu and Offinso North lawmakers, Samuel OkudzetoAblakwa and Ben Abdallah Bandah, respectively called for support of the victims of the Cyclone and condemned the attacks on the Mosque in New Zealand on March 15.

“Mr Speaker, this humanitarian crisis of monstrous proportions happening right here in our continent demands the solidarity of this House and our entire country including the Executive branch. 

“Ghana ought to retain our enviable reputation as a country that stands up to be counted when tragedies of this nature unfold,” Mr Ablakwa told the House in his statement. 

According to Samuel OkudzetoAblakwa, there were many occasions that Ghana had offered moral and inspirational leadership to the world: “this was the case when we actively extended support to the Pan African movement across the continent during the struggle against colonialism more than six decades ago.”

He also chronicled Ghana’s contribution to Guinea’s financial distress in the 1960s, it’s interventions during the apartheid in South Africa, the support to Japan in 1990s during earthquakes, the US$3 million donation to Haiti in 2010 with the latest being the hosting of the Ebola rescue mission in 2014. 

“Mr Speaker, may we always be reminded of the great and worthy example we have been to many in the comity of nations with the hope that this reputation will spur us on never to give up on sharing the little we have with the world,” Mr Ablakwa entreated. 

On his part, Mr Banda said the dastardly act did not only throw Christchurch and the whole of New Zealand into severe grief and mourning but “it sought to callously bereave about 50 families and send about 15 countries whose nationals were victims crying and wailing.”

Linking the attack to white supremacy, anti-immigrant and extremist tendencies which needed to be tamed, the Offinso North Member of Parliament said “the issue of radicalisation, populism, xenophobia, extremism, and terrorism is more speedily gaining currency and dangerously eating into the global fabric.”

In his comment on the New Zealand Mosque attack, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, condemned the act of terror and urged Muslims not to revenge the attack but continue to live peaceably with all. 

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Cyclone Idai entreated the Ghana Meteorological Agency to be up and doing with their weather forecasts so as to better inform the citizenry on the weather. 

He said the agency over the years have gotten their forecasts wrong affecting their credibility in the eye of the populace. 

Speaker Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye in his remarks condemned the New Zealand attack, and admonished persons who commit atrocities in the name of religion and other considerations to desist from that so that the world can live happily as one. 

On Cyclone Idai, he directed the Committee on Foreign Affairs to “urgently meet…..consider the matter holistically and make recommendations by Wednesday as to what they think Parliament as an institution should do and what [it] can recommend to the nation as a whole to do under the circumstances.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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