The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has issued a two-hour ultimatum to the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu to report to the House and answer questions or face consequences.
The Minister is scheduled to answer questions on the state of health facilities in Sefwi Akontombra in the Western North Region on Monday but was absent in Parliament citing other commitments.
Bagbin issued the threat today, Monday, March 29, 2021, when the Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak raised the issue.
“Ministers are given ample time [to prepare and answers questions from MPs]. They [Ministers] need to prioritize this House. If the Minister is not available, we can’t call someone who is not in this chamber to answer the question. Mr. Speaker, we will be grateful if you send the right message to all the ministers that, this Parliament is not like the Seventh Parliament where they can do those things and get away with them. This is a new dawn, and they must wake up to the reality that we are in a new era. We are not going to be allowing ministers to be disregarding this House with the excuse that they have other things that are equally pressing,” the Asawase legislator said.
The Speaker of Parliament said the leaders of the Majority caucus must ensure that Kwaku Agyeman-Manu presents himself to Parliament within two hours.
He contended that the minister, like other ministers, are given ample time on their invitation hence the excuse of Kwaku-Agyeman Manu is disrespectful to Parliament.
“The Minister responsible Health is aware that the question has been scheduled for today. The reason he has given for his inability to present himself before the House to answer the question is completely disrespectful of Parliament, and I am not going to take that. I direct that the minister appears before Parliament within two hours to answer the question. Failing to do so, the necessary consequences will apply. Ministers must be serious towards parliamentary business,” he noted.