Speaker Clashes With Majority

Edward Doe Adjaho

Edward Doe Adjaho

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, yesterday lambasted the leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament for what he said was their poor coordination with ministers of State who are summoned before the House to answer questions posed by Members of Parliament (MPs).

Even though notifications are sent to these government officials, Adjaho expressed worry about the fact that they refuse to honour such invitations.

According to him, such an attitude by ministers was not only an affront to Parliament as an institution, but an embarrassment to the ruling government.

Elizabeth Agyeman
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, was scheduled to have appeared before Parliament yesterday to answer a question posed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Oforikrom in the Ashanti Region, Elizabeth Agyeman, as to what measures her ministry was putting in place to solve the numerous problems confronting many vulnerable head porters, popularly called ‘Kayayei’, in the cities and towns across the country.

The minister, however, refused to turn up with an excuse from the leadership of the Majority side of the House to the effect that her answer to the question was not ready.

Moreover, they said she was not readily available to explain the issue to Parliament because she was out of Accra on another official assignment.

The Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, who was also scheduled to answer a question by the NPP MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh Dompreh, on what the ministry was doing to revamp the Accra-Nsawam railway line, failed to turn up to discharge that constitutional duty.

Her deputy was also not available to stand in for her, even though the answer to the question had been printed in the Order Paper for yesterday’s sitting.

That was what provoked the Speaker, since he could not fathom why the Majority, together with the Business Committee of Parliament, would line up such ministers in the ‘business statement’ for this week as those scheduled to appear before the House to respond to queries by members.

For him, such aberration showed lack of coordination between the Majority leadership and the ministers of State, which did not only disrupt the business of the House, but also puts the government and the NDC leadership in Parliament in a bad light.

The NPP MP for Oforikrom, Elizabeth Agyemang, later told pressmen that she was very disappointed about the attitude of the minister because she (MP) had personally informed her (minister) about the parliamentary question.

“I filed the question in June this year as an urgent question and followed it up to the ministry to tell the minister about it, yet the minister refused to come to answer the question after five months had elapsed,” she said.

According to her, the issue about the plight of ‘Kayayei’ was dear to her heart, even though she does not come from the north, from where most of those girls migrate to engage in this business.

Aside that, she said “These girls are very vulnerable and many young people take advantage of them”, adding that in December last year, she sponsored a health screening with the support of the Office of the Administrator of Common Fund for ‘Kayayei’ in Kumasi, after which she organised a party for them.

This, she said, was the reason why she wanted the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to assist these vulnerable girls and protect them against any social abuses.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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