April 24, 2024

The 8th Parliament of Ghana is arguably the most intense parliament the country has witnessed in the over 30 years of its 4th Republic due to the difference of one between the Minority Caucus (137 MPs) and the Majority Caucus (138 MPs).

This parliament has seen maybe the most walkouts, sometimes even the Majority Caucus of the House, and tussles between majority and minority MPs.

It, in fact, even began with a fight during the election of the Speaker of ParliamentAlban Bagbin.

These tense moments have even forced Speaker Alban Bagbin, who is most calm and collected, to usher ‘harsh words’, which a section of Ghanaians have criticised.

They accused the speaker of talking to the MPs like his children.

Here are two instances when the Speaker of Parliament lost his cool in the house:

You make me sick – Alan Bagbin to MPs

Alban Bagbin, on February 23, 2022, threatened to order the arrest of some unruly Members of Parliament who had refused to heed his advice.

His concerns emanate from the manner in which the Speaker is welcomed in the chamber at the start of proceedings when he is escorted into the chamber by the clerks and other support staff.

“What is happening in this Parliament is completely unacceptable and I am not sure you have an appreciation of the temperature of the country, neither am I sure you know the arduous nature of the responsibility that has been placed on your shoulders.

“You are all matured adults; what I am talking about (chatter when he is entering the chamber) is still happening,” he lamented.

He went on to issue the threat of arrest and removal of MPs who are found complicit in the act. “The Marshall department get ready. I will be compelled to get the Marshall to get people arrested and sent out.”

“You are saying eiii,” he rhetorically asked some MPs who reacted to his threat before adding: “Parliament is not a place for joking. It is a place for business, serious national business.”

He pointed out that with the uniqueness of the current Parliament in Ghana’s legislative history, there was the need for MPs to “be prepared to change to accept the decision of the people and work together. You make me sick,” he concluded.

These were his initial remarks before he went on to present an official statement decrying the incident where a motion, he had admitted was dismissed by the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, alias Joe Wise.

The motion on a parliamentary probe into COVID-19 funds had been admitted by Bagbin on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, but later when he vacated the seat for Joe Wise, the motion was dismissed by his First Deputy.

A livid Bagbin described the move as unconstitutional and offensive, even though he opted against remedying it. He said a meeting will be held with his deputies to chart a way forward on the development.

Do you listen to yourself when you talk? – Bagbin to Ursula Owusu

Alban Bagbin recently lost his cool again and reprimanded the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu, during a debate on a yet-to-be-laid Legislative Instrument (L.I.).

The discussion centred around the proposed restriction of the importation of strategic products into the country, with both the Minority and the minister actively engaged.

As the debate unfolded, Ursula caught the Speaker’s attention with her comments questioning why the House was discussing the L.I. when it had not been officially laid before them.

She remarked, “Mr. Speaker, I believe that the L.I. has not been laid. So I have no idea what they are debating in this House today. There is nothing before the House. So, as you indicated to the minister that we are not yet there, I was of the opinion that you would tell my colleagues on the other side that there is nothing before us.”

The Speaker interjected, asking, “Hon. Minister, were you here from the very beginning?” to which Ursula Owusu-Ekuful responded, “No, I have been here since morning, even before the prayer.”

The Speaker further questioned her, “Then why did you say no? Do you really listen to yourself when you are talking?”

“Yes, I do,” Ursula responded.

The Speaker interjected again, saying, “If you were here from the very beginning, and I asked if you were here from the very first beginning, you said no. Then you continue, and now you are telling me you were here even before I entered. So, it meant you were not listening to yourself.”

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, defended herself, stating, “This is the first time I am appearing in the House this week. I have been here since the beginning of proceedings today, and I do listen to myself very carefully.”

Furious, the Speaker retorted, “I don’t think so,” to which Ursula said he was entitled to his opinion.

The Speaker of ParliamentAlban Bagbin, then ordered her to resume her seat, emphasizing, “Hon. Minister, this is not the Ministry of Communication; this is parliament. Resume your seat!”

See also  Kennedy Agyapong rejects handshake as he confronts NPP MP in parliament

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *