General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Minority MPs are being petty in their attitude towards Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, Mathew Nyindam, Deputy Majority Chief Whip, has said.
The Minority on Tuesday, 1 August staged a walk-out during deliberations on the controversial $510 million AMERI power deal.
The walk-out followed concerns raised by the Minority that they were being gagged and prevented from making contributions on the floor.
They accused the Speaker of muzzling them, thus had no alternative but to walk out as a sign of protest, Class91.3FM’s parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan reported.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu accused Prof Mike Oquaye of being a threat to democracy in parliament.
But speaking in an interview with Jonas Ofori Yeboah on the 505 news programme on Class91.3FM on Tuesday, Mr Nyindam said: “I don’t know what has come over the Minority within the latter part of last week and early this week. Their behavoiur is strange and I as a colleague in leadership and looking at the demeanour they put up get worried because they want to indulge in pettiness and this does not help anybody.
“Where is the validity of the concerns they are raising? We as MPs are charged with the responsibility to protect the purse of this country. Parliament is supposed to make sure that the public gets value for money, that is our core responsibility besides our law making [duty].
“The issue we are talking about today is a deal that we entered into as Ghanaians; this deal was approved by parliament. K.T. Hammond who was then the ranking member on the committee seconded the motion in the interest of mother Ghana.
“Now this person, K.T. Hammond, is raising some concerns, he has filed a motion on the floor that that he has some concerns to raise concerning the AMERI deal that he personally seconded and that he will want the house to give him a hearing.
“Now K.T. Hammond comes to the floor, the Speaker who is the father of the house allows him to read the caption of the motion, and then say we are referring this matter to Mines and Energy Committee so that the concerns that K.T. is talking about can be raised and everybody will listen.
“On the floor, if K.T. Hammond is allowed to make the statement, AMERI will not be there to defend, the minister in charge will not be there, and parties that are interested in this deal will not be there and so the Speaker then makes the referral to the committee responsible to invite all these stakeholders to come and listen to K.T. Hammond and confirm or deny his allegations. Then a very responsible Minority that is supposed to fight for the interest of this government, the Minority that is claiming to be the alternative is behaving like this? I am surprised.”