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16.02.2005 Togo

MP calls for recall of Ghana's Ambassador to Togo

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Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - Alhaji Abukari Sumani, NDC-Tamale North, on Wednesday called for the instant recall of Ghana's Ambassador to Togo, saying he was un-diplomatic in his utterances to the media following the death of President Eyadema of Togo.

The MP also called into question the presence of the Ambassador at the unconstitutional installation of the late President's son, Faure Eyadema, as President of Togo.

Alhaji Sumani was contributing to the debate on the State of the Nation address in Parliament.

He said initially it was all right for government to remain silent on its position in relation to the developments in Togo, while waiting for the regional body, ECOWAS, to come out with a definitive statement on the events in that country.

According to Alhaji Sumani, a one time Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ghana's Ambassador to Togo, should not have gone ahead to justify his presence at the installation ceremony in an interview with an Accra radio station.

The Ambassador had said that he went to the ceremony in his capacity as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in that country and did not need to consult with the government back home before attending the event.

Alhaji Sumani said it was possible that the Ambassador received some support from the Foreign Ministry in Accra to attend the event. "Your Ambassador is no ambassador," he told the House, drawing angry outburst from the Majority side, who called on the MP to withdraw the statement.

Alhaji Sumani who withdrew the word, "your", however, stuck to his statement that the Ambassador was no Ambassador since he had fallen short of diplomacy in his performance in regards to the crisis in Togo.

Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Acting Deputy Foreign Minister, who caught the Speaker's eye, said Ghana's Ambassador to Togo had excellent credentials and had been a diplomat for a number of years and it was therefore wrong for Alhaji Sumani to make such derogatory statements about him.

The Deputy Minister said the Ambassador's presence at the installation was still being investigated and asked that members of the House be circumspect in statements made on the issue.

Mr Joe Ghartey, NPP MP for Essikado/Ketan said the President's Special Initiatives (PSI) would help transform the various agricultural products as well as changing Ghana's economic dependence on a mono-crop to a diversified one.

He said long before cocoa was brought into Ghana in 1879, oil palm was being exported and that if all the previous governments had initiated programmes like the PSI to develop a particular crop "Ghana would have had more export crops."

Mr. Ghartey said the oil palm industry had increased its production of seed nuts from 250 to one million a year, which was very encouraging.

He said the PSI on starch had had a head way and that starch produced from the Ayensu Starch Factory was now being accepted all over the world.

"Nestle International has asked Ayensu's starch to supply its world-wide industries and factories due to its quality."

"Positive Change Chapter One has laid a strong foundation for the take-off of Chapter Two and the intensification of the PSI."

Mr. Ghartey said if the positive change was likened to a triple jumper then, "chapter one was a confident jump, two would be gigantic jump, and three would be a record breaking jump."

Earlier, Parliament had adopted the Second Report of the Committee of Selection on the Composition of Committees as spelt out in the Standing Orders 151 (2) and 152 of the House.

In all there are 11 Standing Committee and 13 Select Committees with Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes, the Speaker, Chairing the Standing Orders Committee and Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong as Vice-Chairman.

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