THE Third Session of the Eighth Parliament commenced yesterday with the lenses focused on the Minority caucus to see whether they will have a divided front or show solidarity to their new leadership.
It was awe-inspiring to see the new leadership led by Dr Cassiel Ato Forson welcome their predecessors with open arms, hugs and jokes.
In his welcome address as the new Minority Leader on the floor of Parliament yesterday, Dr Forson expressed the unwillingness of the Minority Caucus under his leadership to countenance anymore bad governance from the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led administration.
He said the Minority would insist on the highest levels of performance from all government officials and institutions over whom Parliament had oversight and jurisdiction.
"We are unwilling to be part of any negligence of duty of any sort, and neither shall we tolerate lackadaisical attitude towards the work of this House by public officials," he said.
Dr Forson said "We will maintain the highest levels of vigilance and offer intense scrutiny of government programmes, policies, agreements,bills, and legislative instrument.We will not compromise on what we earnestly believe to be the right thing.”
The Speaker congratulated the new Minority leadership.
He said the new leaders had all been in the House for a while and were very conversant with the culture and law of Parliament.
"I have confidence in their ability to meet the high expectations of our stakeholders. On behalf of the House, I warmly welcome them to the hot seat of the leadership of Parliament. Congratulations and I wish you well,” he said.
Mr Bagbin also wished the former Minority Leader , Haruna Iddrisu, and other Minority leadership well in their endeavours.
"The former members of the leadership of the Minority led by Haruna Iddrisu must be applauded too. Their record of performance is visible for all to see.
And I hope the new leadership will continue to draw from their fountain of wisdom and wealth of experience.
"I know what it entails to lead a populous minority caucus in Parliament.
All I can say to the former leader is that the lord is your shepherd, and you shall now want.
When one door closes another opens," he said.
Mr Bagbin also wished Chriatian Astu, Black Stars Player a speedy recovery following his entrapment in the Türkiye earthquake.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, called on the new Minority leadership to cooperate with the Majority leadership to enhance the functionality of Parliament and deliver a transparent and accountable legislature.
He said the new leadership of the Minority had what it takes to deliver on their mandate and must cooperate to deliver the Parliament Ghanaians wished to see.
“I trust that with the new Minority leadership, we can work together to achieve the functionality of Parliament.
“I look forward, and indeed all of us in leadership from the majority look forward to working with the new leadership in a very professional manner to promote transparent and accountable government that will indeed help to grow Ghana, improve living standards of our people,” he said.
The former Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, and the former Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, were literally everywhere to cheer up their colleagues.However, conspicuously missing was the former Minority Leader, Mr Iddrisu.
Mr Iddrisu reported early to register his name at the Table Office but checked out almost immediately even before most of his colleagues arrived.
After smiling for the cameras Alhaji Muntaka also sneaked out, leaving only Mr Avedzi who stayed for the day's activities.
Both Alhaji Muntaka and Mr Iddrisu could not be reached after the sitting to react to their rather unusual action.
But that notwithstanding, the atmosphere in the House was electrifying as both sides of the divide came in their numbers.
Members displayed courtesy towards each other and exchanged pleasantries.
Two incidents reignited the parliamentary spirit and firmed up the camaraderie that has existed for years.
First, it was the entry of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyepong, and the reaction to the nomination of the MP for Nhyieaso, Dr Stephen Amoah, as a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.
Kennedy Agyepong's entry was greeted with a deafening noise of "presidoo, presidoo", perhaps to celebrate his intentions to run as a presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
With smiles all over, the Assin Central MP lost his way and found himself seated on the Minority side at the start of proceedings.
And the noise even escalated a notch higher when the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, announced new nominations made by President Akufo-Addo.
The entire House erupted into “Sticka oooo Sticka” to welcome Dr Stephen Amoah, who has been nominated as a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.
The nominee is nicknamed “Sticka”.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|