The Minority Caucus in Parliament has staged a walk out over the approval of four deputy minister-designates.
The action was initiated moments after the Deputy Majority Leader and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, had moved the motion for the adoption of the eight report of the Appointments Committee on His Excellency the President nominations for minister of state and deputy ministerial appointments.
The nominees were Ms. Diana Asonaba Dappah, Deputy Attorney-General designate and deputy Minister for Justice designate, Lariba Zuweira Abdul, deputy Minister designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Martin Adjei Mensah-Korsah, deputy Minister designate for Local Government and Rural Development and Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, deputy Minister designate for Sanitation and Water Resources.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale North, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, who is also a member of the Appointments Committee, told journalists moments after their walkout in Parliament on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, that they are not against the approval of the deputy ministerial nominees.
However, because they were not part during the vetting process, it was only proper and just too for them to also abstain from their approval the said nominees on the floor of the House.
He said prior to vetting of the nominees, the Minority members on the Appointments Committee had communicated to the Chairman of the Committee who is also the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu, that due to the due to the nationwide tree planting exercise of which the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin employed all and sundry to get involved in the exercise, appealing to him to reschedule the vetting of the four nominees.
Nevertheless, their request fell on deaf ears, accusing the Chairman of the Appointments Committee of bias.
“How do you expect us to be part of the approval exercise when we were not part of the vetting process?” he quizzed.
Suhiyini, who was very vocal about the issue said leadership of the Minority Caucus conveyed their sentiments to the Speaker who agreed that the matter be raised on the floor of the House for a decision to be made.
But due to the nature of Wednesday’s business, they were unable to raise the matter on the floor for discussions.
He nonetheless, appealed to the Rt. Hon. Bagbin to re-examine the matter and direct the Appointments Committee to reschedule the four nominees for re-vetting to enable them to be part of the process.
However, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, in sharp response, said the Minority has no case to complaint about.
He said one fundamental issue the Minority failed to address was whether to nominees had met the requirements of Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution.
That aside, the Speaker’s directive was an appeal to all members to get involved in the nationwide tree planting exercise, a directive which did not bare the Appointments Committee from executing an equally important national exercise.
“If you derelict on your duty, why should we bear the brunt of that”, he asked.
The Abuakwa South lawmaker said the best the Minority Members on the Appointments Committee could have done was to assign their party Chairmen to supervise the tree planting exercise in their various constituencies for them.