The absence of minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) from the house yesterday did not greatly affect business as their participation in the ‘dumsor’ demonstration became a major topic. The majority National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs chided the NPP MPs for having abandoned their parliamentary duties to participate in a protest march.
The MP for Dormaa Central, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the MP for Akrofuom, Kwabena Appiah-Pinkrah and MP for Tolon, Wahab Wumbei Suhuyini, who held the forth for their colleagues, told the speaker that the minority MPs were conspicuously absent from the chamber because they were participating in a ‘massive’ demonstration to draw the government’s attention to the adverse effects that the current ‘dumsor’ (power rationing) is having on the lives of Ghanaians.
“Mr speaker, my colleagues are not here because they have joined the massive demonstration taking place on the streets of Accra,” he announced.
But the speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, enquired from the Dormaa Central MP how he got to know that the demonstration was ‘massive,’ even though he had not been part of it.
“Mr speaker, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Keta, Richard Quashigah, can attest to that because he came to me and said that the crowd up there participating in the demonstration has been massive; and I can also confirm that it has been massive because of the information that I am getting from the ground,” he explained.
The MP for Keta however, said that he went to the Dormaa Central MP to re-echo to him what an NPP MP had said on radio that the crowd had been so thick and massive that the presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo – who was part of the demonstration – could not be seen.
This statement by the NDC MP drew laughter from the majority side.
The deputy majority leader, Alfred Agbesi, said that members of the minority side have the right to demonstrate, but he was worried that the NPP MPs had abandoned the duties for which they were voted.
Mr Doe Adjaho said official permission was sought by the leadership of the minority for the members to absent themselves from yesterday’s proceedings.
“Indeed, the minority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and the MP for Kwadaso, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, came to my office after Tuesday’s proceedings and officially asked for permission to be absent from parliament and that must accordingly be placed on record,” the speaker said.