An attempt by some National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament to politicize the recruitment of some employees into the Parliamentary Service has been shot down by the First and Second Deputy Speakers of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu and Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.
The two leaders worried about the propaganda and political twist the recruitment exercise is gaining, rebuked their fellow colleagues for misinforming the public with the intent of scoring political points out of it.
Hon. Osei Owusu and Bagbin, speaking with one accord, explained how recruitment are done by the Parliamentary Service without the involvement of the Legislature.
NDC MP for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agboza had alleged on TV3 that some individuals in green jumpers believed to be members of the Delta and Invincible Forces, both vigilante groups associated with the governing New Patriotic, are being recruited by Parliament to provide security for Members.
The new recruits, he alleged, were trained at Asutuare and were seen on the corridors of Parliament during the swearing-in of the Speaker as Acting President of the land last Saturday, January 27, 2018.
He re-echoed this sentiment on the floor during Wednesday’s sitting and expressed worry why Members of the House were not informed about the recruitment exercise.
His sentiments were also espoused by the NDC MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.
But the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, having realised the lack of understanding of the NDC MPs about the work of the Parliamentary Service, scolded them for going outside the precincts of Parliament to misinform the public.
“The Parliamentary Service is headed by the Clerk. When Parliamentary Service is doing recruitment, they don’t have to report to Parliament. Let’s not use partisan considerations to embarrass the institution that we are a part of. When did the Police come here? Before the Police came here, Parliament had its security. The Police were brought in by Hon. Doe Adjaho in 2015. So, Parliament’s security is not new. But the most critical thing for me is not raising issues with matters that we don’t understand with Parliament”, he noted.
Hon. Bagbin on his part took time to educate members on how the Parliamentary Service works and what they have been doing to beef up security over the years.
” The House (Parliament) is not involved in the recruitment of the employees of the Parliamentary Service. It is usually done by the Parliamentary Service. The Judicial Service recruits employees for the Judiciary and copy the Judicial Service Board. The same for Parliament. The only difference is that the Parliamentary Service Board includes some members of Parliament and is mostly from leadership. So, the leadership sits there not just as representatives of Parliament but also as Members of the Parliamentary Service. That is the practice. We have requested for a number of times from the Ghana Police Service to beef up the strength of the Police Service in the precincts of Parliament. The House, I recall, last year even requested that the Police Service should provide security cover for Members of Parliament. The Police Service has always complained of the scarcity of their numbers so they’ve not been able to meet the demands of the House. I recall last year we wanted up to about 80 but they were able to give us about 35. Mr. Speaker, I think that was the reason why the Parliamentary Service decided to go in for private security to augment the numbers of the Police Service. Apart from that a number of the private security who are members of the Parliamentary Service have gone on retirement and some have passed away and so there was the urgent need for some of these processes to be put in place to recruit some employees into the Parliamentary Service to assist the Ghana Police Service and the National Security in the House”, he explained.
Commenting further, he said he was informed that the Parliamentary Service was going to recruit employees to beef up security in the House.
Nevertheless, he was of the view that there were some communication gaps in the recruitment process resulting in the spreading of rumour among members.
But he cautioned that such attitude must end and channel all grievances to the leadership of the House for redress.