Prof Oquaye (right) briefing Dr Bawumia on what happened
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia paid a surprise visit to parliament yesterday to assess the extent of damage caused to the building housing the legislators during Tuesday’s rainstorm that ripped off the roof, causing extensive flooding in the chamber and parts of the building.
The vice president apologized to the speaker and leadership of parliament for not giving them any prior notice before his visit, saying that the urgency of the situation demanded that he personally come to find out the extent of damage caused to the nation’s parliament.
He expressed regret at the unfortunate incident and said the role of parliament is very central to participatory democracy and the important functions it performs to ensure that government business keeps running smoothly.
He said it was important also to quickly look at the damage and how it could be rectified to enable Members of Parliament to perform their duties to the nation.
Dr Bawumia said that since President Nana Akufo-Addo was not in the country when the incident happened, he would accordingly brief him when he returned from the Africa Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa.
He noted that the Chinese consultants who did the Job 600 rehabilitation would be requested immediately to repair the damage.
The vice president pledged the executive’s support to ensure that parliament discharges its functions effectively.
The speaker of parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, said the rainstorm was very threatening and had caused some damage in the House.
He therefore, appealed passionately to the vice president for a new chamber block to be built for the legislators since the present building is too small for the increased number of MPs; and moreover, the building is getting old.
The vice president gave the assurance that the request of the speaker would be considered by cabinet.
Dr Bawumia was taken round to inspect the chamber and other areas affected by the rainstorm by the speaker, the deputy majority leader, Adwoa Safo and the minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu.
Meanwhile, frantic efforts are underway to repair the roofing.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr