Mahama Defies Speaker’s Orders…“Tweaa”; “I Am Not Your Co-Equal”


President John Dramani Mahama, together with Members of Parliament, on Tuesday, virtually opened the floodgates for the word “tweaa” to be used in Parliament.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, the president after a moment of heckling interlaced with inaudible shouts of “tweaa” from the Minority, paused to question, “Who said Tweaa?” and sought to know whether they were his “co-equal”.

The House, last week banned the use of the Akan word ‘tweaa’ during deliberations.

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, banned the word after the member for Subin, Mr Isaac Osei (NPP), had drawn his attention to the fact that the word had gained currency in the House lately and sought to find out if that word could be used.

According to him, the use of that particular Akan word was un-parliamentary and should not be part of the “Parliamentary lexicon.”

Tweaa is an Akan interjection used mainly to express contempt for a statement made.

For weeks now, the word has been used by some Members of Parliament against their colleagues making statements or contributions to statements on the floor of the House. The use of the word usually leads to laughter and takes the focus of the issues being discussed for some minutes.

Thus, the ban by the Speaker was seen as apt. However, those who had the impression the ruling has come into force at just the right time to stop politicians from bandying it about during President Mahama’s State of the Nation address, must have been disappointed.

For just as the president touched on the positives of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme to Ghanaians, the Minority boiled over.

“Mr Speaker the Ministry’s flagship programme however is the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty(LEAP),through this programme the Ministry has made cash brands to 74,000 of the poorest households in our country. This means that now the poorest 74,000 families in Ghana will be able to afford food, clothing and the cost of basic transportation,” President Mahama said.

But his assertion was swiftly booed by the minority prompting the president to shout out; “Herh…order!…I am not your co-equal…Mr. Speaker…Mr. Speaker…Mr. Speaker…who said tweaa?”

The “tweaa” word gained currency after a video went viral capturing the District Chief Executive for Ahafo Ano South in the Ashanti Region, Hon. Gabriel Barima in an angry mood when a member of an audience he was addressing at Mankraso in the Ashanti Region used it to express contempt for a statement he had made.

The enraged DCE stormed out of the meeting after stating, among other things, that the person who made the statement was not his “co-equal.”

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