General News of Monday, 13 March 2017
The Executive Director for the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs has supported calls for Members of Parliament (MPs) who are deficient in the English language to be commended and not ridiculed.
He believes that hiring interpreter services for such MPs – as many are calling for – would further open them up for further ridicule.
“If they start using this kind of services when everyone else gets up and speaks English, it is going to further create problems,” he said.
Dr Dramani was reacting to comments by the founder of the African University College of Communication, Professor Kojo Yankah who said it is time Ghanaians celebrated such individuals.
Citing the Odikro Survey which ranked the performance of the MPs based on their contributions on the floor of the House, he said might be because they have nothing to contribute.
“Others might be because of this particular issue, they are concerned about the fact that once I speak and I make a mistake in the English language, the whole country is going to hear about it,” he said.
Since the beginning of the sixth parliament, the MP for Akwatia, Mercy Ama Sey, has generated a lot of debate on social and traditional media about whether there should be interpreter services hired for some MPs.
Her low level of English proficiency has been a big talking point with people questioning her ability to contribute to debates on the floor of parliament.
Ama Sey who was a hairdresser before winning her seat was also recently ridiculed for her poor delivery of a speech at an Independence Day celebration parade in her constituency.
She told Joy News’ Mamavi Owusu Aboagye in a recent interview that she is aware many are ridiculing her on social media.
Although she defeated incumbent MP and former Deputy Labour and Employment Minister, Baba Jamal who constantly referred to her as a ‘hairdresser’ during the campaign period, she said she is saddened by the wave of attacks on her English proficiency.
Madam Sey, however, said she is unperturbed by the taunts adding that she is proud of her herself and her journey so far.
According to her, like most first timers in the House, she is still learning the basics of how the legislature works and would hopefully ‘flow’ in April.’