Member of Parliament for Tamale Central who doubles as the Minister for Roads and Highways, Inusah Fuseini, says he finds nothing wrong with the much-criticized conduct of MPs during President John Mahama’s delivery of this year’s state of the Nation Address on Thursday.
In his view, other MPs globally, have done worst things such as throwing eggs at public officials, and in some cases exchanging blows, juxtaposing that the Ghanaian MPs were rather moderate in their actions. Parliamentarians from both sides of the chamber chanted songs of cheer and mockery at the President, in the concluding part of his address.
At a point, the Speaker’s call for order fell on deaf ears as the shouting preceded the limit. Many have condemned the conduct of the MPs on live television, describing it as unruly and not exemplary enough particularly to the youth in the chamber who see them as role models, and to members of the diplomatic corps.
At least we didn’t fight -MP But speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme,’The Big Issue’ on Saturday, Inusah Fuseini said the conduct of the MPs is not infantile, adding that it was not an abnormal practice in Parliaments globally. “What happened in Parliament was not infantile at all. It’s part of parliamentary practice.
In some Parliaments they beat each other. They get up and blow each other and return to the seat. In some Parliaments, they throw eggs at their Presidents or Prime Ministers. We have not gotten there and I don’t think we will get there,“ said the Minister. He was however quick to add that, Parliament has “been working to reduce the tempo and the occurrence and bring some sanity into how MPs heckle the President.”
MPs were childish
But a Financial analyst and a social commentator, Sydney Casley Hayford, a panelist on the programme, disagreed with Inusah Fuseini.
He argued that the MPs were childish in their conduct.
“We have been doing this year after year. It is so childish and infantile. We are trying to address problems and we are at a point now where in terms of development, there is a little confusion. The NDC is saying we have done all of these things, the NPP is saying you have not done anything. …”
Mahama instigated MPs’ misbehavior
He also blamed the President for the behaviour of the MPs since he virtually turned the delivery into a jesting exercise.
“I think that the President’s delivery in so many ways encouraged this infantile behaviour because he himself in so many places turned this whole thing into a bit of a joke and kept on middling certain persons and treating Parliamentarians like they were school children. And of course, when you do that they would like to give it back to you. When he opened up and talked about J.B Danquah’s death, he was serious, but gradually as time went on, it deteriorated and I think that Parliament has to really get itself together and accept that, it is not only things that are to their benefit that should be taken seriously.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho has also expressed his disappointment about the conduct of the legislators. The Speaker said the red cards from the Minority and the white handkerchiefs from the Majority members, which were used during the heckling, indicated that the distraction was premeditated.
“The placards could not produce themselves, somebody must have thought of them and prepared those things. Nobody manufactures handkerchiefs in this chamber neither do people have red cards produced here” he said.
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