The violence nature of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was well displayed on the floor of Parliament yesterday as the MPs for Ashiamah Mr Ernest Norgbey, A.B.A. Fuseini, MP for Sagnarigu and Usif Issaka Jajah, MP for Ayawaso North, led an onslaught on the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu and in the process, snatched the Speakers Chair away.
The NDC MPs were of the view that, Joe Osei Owusu, MP for Bekwai, does not deserve to occupy the Speaker’s Chair since he is not the substantive Speaker.
Their anger stemmed from the fact that it was the First Deputy Speaker who presided in overturning Rt. Hon.Alban Bagbin’s decision of rejecting the 2022 Budget in favour of the Majority after the Minority Group had opposed and voted against it last Friday.
At Wednesdays sitting, the Minority leader, Haruna iddrisu, had moved a motion for a vote of recision against the approval of the 2022 Budget because in his view, the Speaker erred in ruling for the approval of the budget statement.
The motion was seconded by the MP for Bawku, Mahama Ayariga.
The First Deputy Speaker in the view of the Minority Caucus, counted himself as having been present on the floor of the chamber to make up the Majority of 138 to overturn the rejection of the budget which incident occured last Friday while the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin was presiding over the House.
They had maintained that his role as acting Speaker meant that he had no casting vote and therefore, the Majority Caucus did not satisfy the number of MPs present to pass a vote on the budget.
While Members had debated on the motion and were awaiting the the First Deputy Speaker, who is affectionately called Joe Wise, to put the question for the voice vote on the issue, the Speaker ruled that there was no point in ruling over the issue since the was nothing new in all the arguments being raised either for or against the motion.
In dismissing the motion, Joe Wise said there as a distinction between who a deputy Speaker and that of the Speaker of Parliament.
He said any attempt to interpret the constitution of Mr. Speaker to include the deputy Speakers is a misreading and misapplication of the constitution.
“First, it must be clear that a deputy Speaker is not a Speaker. Indeed Article 96(1) of the constitution says and I quote “there shall be two deputy Speakers who shall be elected by Members of Parliament from among Members of Parliament”, he explained.
This angered the Minority side of the House, eventually, leading into chaos with the NDC MP for Ashiaman, Enerst Norgbey walking bravely to the Speaker’s Chair to snatch it away.
Having succeeded in snatching the chair, he was assisted A.B.A. Fuseini and Yusif Jaja to safeguard it but their efforts couldn’t be sustained as personnel from the Marshall’s Office, dispossessed them and took the chair to its original position.
Prior to uncuffed behaviour from the NDC MPs, Joe Wise sensing the mood of the House had suspended sitting for an hour and briskly walked away from the floor of the House.
The personnel from the Marshall’s office again stood their grounds and ensured that the mace of Parliament was protected.
Speaking after the incident, Mr. Norgbey, justified his actions stating that whatever he did was meant to preserve the seat for the Speaker.
“We had to preserve the seat for Mr. Speaker to come”, he noted.