Kwadwo Mpiani To Adwoa Safo – ‘What Special Qualifications Do You Have To Be Made Deputy Majority Leader’

A former Chief of Staff and leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, has expressed concerns over the alleged acts of sabotage by the Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo. Speaking in an interview with Raymond Acquah on UpFront on Wednesday, Mr. Mpiani reiterated that, Adwoa Safo’s absenteeism in Parliament will not augur well for the party. Reacting to allegations that, Adwoa Safo is asking to be made the Deputy Majority Leader before she comes to Parliament, the veteran politician questioned her sense of entitlement in that regard.

 

“It’s the side that decides who to be the leader, who should be the Deputy Leader. So if the Majority side, I believe in consultation with the general party has decided that somebody should be a Deputy Leader, no member of the House can say, ‘give me this position’. On what basis are you asking that, that position is given to you? Because that’s the decision of the Majority in consultation with the party. So if they’ve taken the decision, why should they remove the person who’s there and give his position to you? What special qualification do you have so that you think you must be made the Deputy Leader. I don’t know if it’s true, but I hope it’s not true”, he stated.

 

He also added that “She was the Deputy because the Majority and party at that time decided that she should be the Deputy. With this new Parliament, they say no you can’t be the Deputy. Fortunately for you, the President has made you a Minister of State. So how can you say that give this position to me by all means? Is there any special reason why she should be made the Deputy Leader. I don’t know. I don’t even see a way in entertaining something like that. If that’s what she’s asking for, me I don’t know”.

 

Mr. Mpiani however stated that since he is not fully aware of the circumstances resulting in Adwoa Sarfo’s absenteeism, his comments on the MP’s alleged demands cannot be conclusive. According to him, the Majority in Parliament, and the leadership of the New Patriotic Party must delve into the root of the problem, and deal with the issues decisively. Touching on the frequent disagreements between the Majority and Minority sides in Parliament, the veteran politician advised that, there is the need for consensus-building to make Parliamentary business smoother. Recounting his experience as a legislator in 1979, Mr. Mpiani said there is the needed for cooperation given the number of MPs on both sides of the House.

 

Meanwhile, the leadership of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has admitted that Adwoa Safo’s absence is affecting the party and government business.

In an interview with Evans Mensah on Tuesday, the party’s General Secretary, John Boadu, noted that with Ghana’s hung Parliament, the Gender Minister’s absence is adversely affecting government’s business in Parliament.

 

“A lot of decisions that should have been taken long ago [have not concluded], I know you will immediately talk about E-levy. But there is a lot of government functioning that needs to move on. You wouldn’t know when the NDC [National Democratic Congress] will insist that we should put it to a vote and if we miss one MP, it means that particular government programme cannot move on,” he said on Tuesday.

 

Adwoa Safo was last seen in Parliament in December 2021, when she appeared in the House to dismiss claims by the Minority Caucus that she was impersonated. She has since not returned to the Chamber. Recently, some leading government officials and some of her colleague MPs in Parliament accused her of blackmailing government with a list of demands, including the Deputy Majority Leader post.

 

But reacting to this, Mr Boadu said the demands of the Dome Kwabenya lawmaker come as a surprise to the party leadership. “It is not as if she was just left in the lurch. She’s been made a Minister, and she’s working, and we’ve never received any adverse complaints at all, so it comes to some of us as a surprise,” he told Evans Mensah. Presently, the governing NPP is caught between a rock and a hard place since records in Parliament prove that Madam Safo has been absent from the House for more than 15 sittings without permission.

 

The Majority leadership in Parliament and the party are required to take a decision on the absentee MP. According to Mr Boadu, all options are currently on the table, including triggering the constitutional provision to remove her as MP and declare her seat vacant. “We are still trying to put our thoughts together. Trying to look at a lot of other options that can possibly make her decide if she will join us. If she doesn’t, there are other options that can be employed,” he noted.

 

In a related development, the Minority in Parliament is also pushing for the removal of two other NPP MPs – Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong and the Ayawaso Central MP, Henry Quartey. According to the NDC MPs, the said lawmakers “were absent without permission from the Speaker, Alban S.K. Bagbin, for 18 working days each”.

 

In a post on Facebook, the North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa described the contemplation to remove Madam Safo from Parliament as “discriminatory and unprincipled attacks”. He, therefore, called for fairness.

Source : joynews

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