The Minority in Parliament has criticised the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul for suggesting that they boycotted the parliamentary sitting last Saturday due to their unwillingness to participate in a debate on the Coronavirus outbreak in Ghana.
Speaking on the floor today [Saturday], Dominic Nitiwul described the boycott of the Minority as unpatriotic.
“Mr. Speaker, as a house and as a country, if the absence of my colleagues really comes to pass, that this very important national exercise we do not come and we do not make a single comment on this floor then Mr. Speaker, we as a Parliament are letting the nation down.
“Mr. Speaker everywhere around the world, nations are coming together to fight this Coronavirus. People are putting politics aside. In fact politics can wait. Mr. Speaker, nothing is more important than putting politics aside and fighting Coronavirus which is an invisible enemy. Mr. Speaker for the NDC to boycott Parliament at this time is uncalled for, unpatriotic and a stab on the back of Ghanaians.”
The Minority in a response to Mr. Nitiwul, however, clarified that their absence in Parliament had “absolutely nothing to do with turning our backs on a Coronavirus economic mitigation debate.”
“Indeed, no such Coronavirus economic mitigation debate took place in Parliament on Saturday neither did the Finance Minister make any related presentation to the House on the day in issue.”
The Minority explained that their absence was because they felt “Parliament was being abused by the ruling majority for narrow political gain as their only motivation was to accumulate days for the Electoral Commission’s Constitutional Instrument on the December 2020 elections to mature. ”
“This the NPP majority was pursuing without recourse to the health and safety of Members of Parliament during these times when it is crucial to contain and limit the spread of a COVID-19 pandemic. A disease which has proven to be no respecter of persons and has infected many MPs across the world including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and several of his colleagues and some 23 MPs in the Iranian Parliament out of which two have already died.”
Speaker of Parliament rebukes Minority over handling of COVID-19 memo
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye had earlier rebuked the Minority over its handling of a memo recommending to Parliament the adoption of a bipartisan national response plan to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Although the memo was addressed to the Speaker, Oquaye insisted that, at the time the document was circulating on social media, his office had not been served.
After rebuking the Minority Leader, the statement further insisted that “the issues contained in the said memo are issues that have to be dealt with using due process. The interest of the citizens and the nation should remain paramount”.
But in a response, Haruna Iddrisu insisted that “the said memorandum was delivered on Friday.