The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, yesterday again expressed displeasure about the lateness of Members of Parliament (MPs) to duty despite several appeals and calls to them to be punctual.
This was when he called the House to order and the Chairman of Constitutional and Legal Committee, Ben Abdallah Banda was expected to present the Committee’s report on Corporate Insolvency Bill 2019, which was at the consideration stage.
With only a few members present in the Chamber when the Speaker commenced the Business of the House, matters got further aggravated when Matthew Nyindam, the Deputy Majority Chief Whip acting as the available leader on the Majority side gave the excuse that the Chairman of the Committee had indicated that he was a few distance away from Parliament House.
With that gap created and nothing on the Order Paper to immediately engage the attention of the House, Mr Nyindam then called for the House to suspend sittings until the arrival of Mr Banda.
That proposal did not go down well with the Minority side who felt that the Majority side were dragging their feet with the business of the House, having been advised since Friday to keep to time to clear many outstanding bills with the extension of sittings from Friday to Saturday.
Alhaji Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbugu said that the Minority side was taking strong exception to the behaviour of their colleagues, adding that such situation was becoming unacceptable.
It was at this point the Speaker interjected and decried about the turn of events, laying emphasis on his statement by repeating them thrice as in African culture saying, “Do we make this issue a Majority and Minority issue? Please! Please!! Please!!!”
He said there was the need to make progress in the House saying, “Are you insisting that we go out and do nothing”?
“Suspend sittings so that what? There are certain things we must build consensus on.We must do our politics with dignity in this honourable House if it means protecting each other because it is the profession we have chosen,” he pointed out.
Prof. Oquaye said if someone was doing something wrong, it should be pointed out to him or her saying, we know ministers and chairmen of committees who regularly appear before the House to either answer questions or present reports on time, yet you don’t want to honour or appropriate them”.
Mr Banda in whose absence his deputy, Emmanuel Anyimadu-Antwi presented the report came into the Chamber shortly and apologised to the House and took over for business on the bill amendments to continue as usual.
BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI