We wish to thank and congratulate the judiciary for their instructive and phenomenal pronouncement in the matter between five NPP MPs and Lonrho Ghana Ltd on 24th October 2014. Indeed, the verdict is a vindication of the principle of separation of powers and a great defense of the integrity of the institution of parliament.
It is worth mentioning that, we expressed our disquiet regarding the suit the MPs had brought given its implications on our body politic and socio-economic governance by extension. We were particularly worried about the involvement of some key players in this whole process, especially the MPs themselves and the law Chambers that spearheaded the law suit. We further lamented the loud silence of the Minority leadership in parliament on this matter.
However, we are happy the judiciary has restored the dignity of parliament and saved it from a possible partisan destruction. Despite this important ruling, we find it important to put certain issues in perspective.
First and foremost, in order to maintain the integrity of parliament and promote institutionalism, petty partisanship such as that which led the NPP MPs to hold the free port project and the entirety of Ghanaians to ransom through that court case must be eschewed. It must be underscored that, parliament is an organ of government that works for and on behalf of all Ghanaians and therefore, MPs must apply themselves to this task without recourse to partisan considerations.
It is in this respect we find the MPs’ actions unacceptable.
Second, parties that profess certain ideals must be able and willing to hold their Members of Parliament to those ideals. It is in this respect that, we find the attitude of the leadership of NPP disappointing. The Flagbearer has on countless occasions professed his commitment to the private sector, however his apparent silence on the attempt by the five MPs to hold to ransom an otherwise auspicious and job creating investment is mind-boggling. It is our considered opinion that, the so much trumpeted local content policy in the oil and gas industry can only find meaning in enterprises such as the Atuabo Free Port project. And therefore, we expected all and sundry to support the initiative especially after the due diligence had been done by the committee of Parliament which included NPP MPs and subsequently approved by the entire House.
It is our hope that, by this ruling, no MP will in future disregard Parliament by attempting to sue the very House he or she belongs on decisions he or she participated in approving. More so, in order to give Ghanaians the confidence that, they will promote the private sector, the NPP especially the Flagbearer whose law Chambers prosecuted the case and the Minority leadership in Parliament must speak to this issue and indicate their willingness to support such initiatives. They must also assure the people within the catchment area of this project and indeed all Ghanaians, that they bear no ill-intentions towards their well-being and this job creating investment.
More importantly, we wish to appeal to the Union Workers to support this initiative so that more jobs can be created and we can have more Ghanaian participation in the oil and gas industry. In making this appeal, we are fully aware that, Parliament before approving the Commercial Agreement, had insisted on the need to allow ongoing projects stay and same approved. Hence, the Takoradi Port will not be completely left out in the provision of support services to the oil and gas industry.
We have a great country, together we can make it greater!
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