April 23, 2024 12:46 pm

Felix Anim-Appau writes: Exempting the culprit under the jacket of neutrality; an incentive for stupidity to thrive

The composition of the 8th Parliament has birthed tensions since the induction of the session, resulting in fisticuffs whenever a decision needs to be taken on a serious issue. 

The election of the Speaker on the eve of January 7, the approval of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy and subsequent debate and passage of the document have equally resulted in regrettable acts.

It is unfortunate for these to be happening considering the international image of Ghana as a beacon of democracy on the sub-region.

As immaterial and/or insignificant as you may take it to be, being a member of the KNUST Students’ Parliament House (KSPH) and serving as Second Deputy Speaker thought me a lot about parliamentary proceedings and the dos and don’ts in Parliament. KSPH is a miniature of the national Parliament, instituted by Parliament of Ghana and issues the certificate of membership  for us at the end of each Parliament.

I vividly remember one encounter between myself and late King Midas Amoateng – may his soul rest in peace – during one of our sittings at the Republic Hall Dinning Hall where my colleague from the other side had to be sent out by Speaker, Eben Nii Martey. Whatever action he took was from the Standing Orders which is a copycat of what the national parliament uses. So what happened that Parliament is not conducting itself as a House of honour befitting the title “Honourable” as their office is accorded? Can it happen that Parliament can call out some of these miscreants when necessary and apply the appropriate sanctions? Or it’s probably an internal matter so once the Privileges Committee tackles it, it ends there?

Aside being a ‘parliamentarian’ myself before, I’ve followed proceedings keenly as a journalist and a citizen with interest. Now the question is, who is to be blamed for these filthy occurrences?

It is interesting how the entire House of Legislature is being blamed for the exhibition of such disdainful and backwardness unworthy of their position. Many at times, we often tend to condemn both the NPP and NDC by putting them in the same bracket to wear the jacket of neutrality. “The NPP and NDC are all the same” is a mantra many Ghanaians have adopted to always play the safe card in order not to be tagged as belonging to one side of the caucuses. Due to the insults party ‘fool soldiers’ will rain at you for chastising their abnormality, one is left with no choice than to add the other and blame them all because the NDC might have committed the crime the NPP is committing today and even worse probably so it’s legit to play it safe that way. Why should I allow myself to be pelted with ammunitions when I actually have a shield to protect myself?

There have been two fights in this 8th Parliament already, interestingly starting from the inception of the House on the eve and morning of January 6 & 7 respectively. The other occurred in December over the debate and approval of the 2022 Budget  Statement and Economic Policy of government. Thus, the beginning and end of the year. What a year Ghana’s legislature has had.

Now, let’s analyse each of the scenarios critically. First of all, on the election of Speaker on January 7, an election was being held and the NPP were breaching secret balloting, which is a tenet of the very democracy the legislature is a custodian of. Those manning the very foundation of our democracy were shaking it and the NDC had to violently attack the process to save the day. Very typical of Ghanaians, we chastised both sides and even more especially those who kicked the ballot box because their reaction was more overt and vile, without putting into consideration what caused for that action. We are mostly bent on criticising the reaction without the cause which has given room for people to always instigate idiocy on a low tempo and sit aside for society to roast the person(s) reacting or if better still, accuse you both equally. As a student of business, there is a golden rule in Accounting which says every credit entry must have a corresponding debit entry and vice versa. For every action, there is an equal reaction. That’s why the Akans say “Sɛ biribi ankɔkǎ mpapǎ a, anka mpapǎ ɛngye trɛdɛ”.

Secondly, the latest one which occurred during the debate on whether the controversial E-levy was to be treated under the Certificate of Urgency or not, was when the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, wanted to excuse his seat and be counted to vote. This action is so disgraceful because it is an affront to our democracy. The Majority leader later came out with several excuses for the exchange of baton between the 1st and 2nd Deputy Speakers on the day to curb the shame but I believe only the gullible would believe that cock and bull story.

Meanwhile, after the disturbances on the overturning of the Budget rejection on November 26, Mr. Osei Owusu was explicit when he said he could be counted as an MP to quorate membership for decisions just that he cannot vote on motions when presiding over as Speaker. He reminded the entire nation that he is an MP and not a Speaker. But he overturned a ruling made by the Speaker as an MP. Isn’t the world interesting? The Minority here again prevented Ghana’s democracy from being slaughtered on a daylight at the glare of the citizenry.

Now, many who seem not to have much of a problem with the Minority are asking if there was no better means of addressing the issue. I want to know if people expected the entire Minority to go down on their knees and start speaking in tongues to peacefully prevent the Majority from somersaulting the Constitution of the land and standing orders of Parliament.

The apostles of gentility and good behaviour who are calling for a better and/or peaceful way to have averted the crime the majority was committing have forgotten that when it became critical, even Jesus Christ took a rod and lashed the miscreants in his father’s house – a place considered to be the epitome of peace.

Until we stop being hypocritical and rebuke stupidity for the perpetrators of it to know they’re drifting off the route of sanity, we will forever be taken for granted and made a fool of in our own father’s house.

Ghanaians have clearly shown their displeasure on this E-levy yet a government who is not ready to heed to the cries of the people is tying our hands to push it through our throats and if the person who punches our oppressors to set us free is equally being called names as the oppressor because he has sinned before, then we need a psychological emancipation from political slavery.

The writer, Felix Anim-Appau, edits for Ghanasonline.com and SmartMediaGh.com. A lover of politics and social issues. I’m not neutral but fair. Follow me on Twitter @platofintegrity


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