An Executive of the Tema East Constituency branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Mr. Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has responded to a blistering attack that US-based Ghanaian podcast journalist, Kevin Taylor, has launched on Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.
In a write-up, Mr. Ashitey Adjei, popularly called Moshake, tells Kevin Taylor that his demand on Rt. Hon. Bagbin to prove his astuteness by penalizing MPs who were involved in the scandalous incidents that punctuated the election of the new speaker is out of place.
“You cannot say that the current Speaker lacks integrity if he does not penalize Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah over Mr. Ahenkorah’s alleged snatch of ballot papers during the Speakership election because at the time that Mr. Ahenkorah did that, the 8th Parliament which the current Speaker heads, was not born,” Moshake wrote.
He points out that, “on the night there was no Parliament in place at all as Parliament had been dissolved. However, if for argument sake, you propose that Parliament has to definitely do something about it, then your demands should be directed at the 7th Parliament and its Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mike Ocquaye,” Moshake wrote.
The write-up from the Tema East NDC man hit reading circles on Sunday, just a few days after Kevin Taylor had launched his attacks on Bagbin.
The US based Ghanaian podcast journalist had cast doubts on the integrity of the Speaker, saying that if the Speaker were not compromised, he would have kick-started processes by now to bring people who misconducted themselves on the night that he was elected to book.
It would be recalled that on the night of the Speakership election that resulted in Hon. Bagbin becoming the Speaker of the eight Parliament, attempts by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to ensure that the NPP’s candidate, Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye, was elected, resulted in some not so flattering politicking happening.
Attempts by the NPP to ensure that the ballots are cast in secret was violently resisted by the NDC MPs who vandalized voting booths that had been put up. Then amidst the confusion, MP for Tema West, Carlos Ahenkorah, snatched ballot papers and fled only to be arrested and given slaps by Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
It would be recalled that as part of the confusion, armed military personnel had also invaded the Chamber of Parliament, in spite of the Standing Orders of Parliament prohibiting it.
Mr. Kevin Taylor, who accuses Bagbin of selling out to the NPP since becoming Speaker, has dared the Speaker to prove that he is clean by sanctioning the perpetrators of the various offences.
However, Moshake points out that those events had taken place when there was no Parliament. “The 7th Parliament had been suspended and so there was no Privileges Committee to summon anybody to. You cannot blame the Speaker of the 8th Parliament for that legal technicality,” Moshake wrote.
He advised Mr. Taylor to rather, “channel the power of his grievance into drumming up a campaign for us to undertake constitutional adjustment that will make room for suchlike problems in future rather than blame the Speaker of the 8th Parliament for the sins of the 7th Parliament. That is not smart.”
Meanwhile, in regards to the invasion of the Chamber of Parliament by armed soldiers, Moshake reasoned that it was a necessary evil. “Yes it was sacrilegious, but I think it was a necessary evil at a time that there was so much tension in the country. We will all do well to remember that it was also at a time that we had many Heads of States from other countries, in our country visiting as guests to the upcoming investiture. The Military had a duty to ensure that things did not get out of hand.”