World Cup Brouhaha: Ayariga Dodges MPs

Minister for Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga yesterday declined to respond to a question on the floor of Parliament with respect to the cost incurred by government on the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil.

Mr. Ayariga pleaded with his colleague Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Speaker to allow the commission of enquiry established by President John Mahama to investigate the activities of the team in Brazil “to finalize and submit its report together with the details of all that transpired regarding Ghana’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be made available to the House.”

But, his response did not go down well with the MPs who described the answer as refusal to respond to parliamentary question and an act of impediment on the House.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Sekondi argued that the Minister refused to answer the question with the excuse that the issue was before a commission of enquiry which has the powers of a High Court.

According to Mr. Ankomah, the commission’s work is not a pending judicial ruling on a matter which Parliament may decide not to interfere hence Mr. Ayariga’s refusal to appropriately answer the question with that excuse undermined the powers of Parliament.

“He should not be entertained at all. Why should Parliament’s hands be tied” because a commission of enquiry has been set up by the executive to investigate the activities of the Black Stars, he said.

The former Interior Minister further stated that the implication of the answer meant the Speaker of Parliament wrongly admitted the question and also noted that they should not allow a situation where the executive determines when and how Parliament ask questions.

But, Mr. Ayariga explained that responding to the question would mean interfering in the activities of the commission hence the MPs should be patient and wait for the outcome of the commission which will answer all their questions.

Adjoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya also disagreed with the Sports Minister and said it is an indictment on Parliament for the Minister to refuse to answer the question because of the commission and added that there are documents at the Ministry as to how much government incurred on the Black Stars hence the Minister could provide the answer without any delay.

MP for Akuapem South, Osei Bonsu Amoah, on his part noted that the Minister risks having his ministry’s budget for 2015 fiscal year not approved if he did not provide the answer because Parliament ought to know how much they spent before approving a new budget for them.

Mr. Ayariga said government has set up the commission of enquiry to probe into the preparation and participation of the Black stars in the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil and so far a number of officials have appeared before the commission to respond to various questions.

The Minister further stated that the “budget for the tournament and the eventual expenditure are among matters being considered by the commission.”

But, after the arguments, first Deputy Speaker Ebo Barton Oduro ordered the Minister to report within two weeks to Parliament on the cost incurred by government on the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login