The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, on Thursday sent an apparent fatherly appeal and order to absentee ministers to report to the House to work during the one-week emergency call.
“Honourable ministers should please come and let us work upon the emergency matters duly before us,” the Speaker said, adding; “This is my order.”
The order followed the absence of the ministers of Food and Agriculture, and Aviation, who were scheduled to be present at the plenary on Thursday morning to lay some papers.
The House has been called for five-day emergency meeting. Running from Monday, April 29, to Friday, May 3, 2019 for some urgent Government Business including the suspended treatment of the Vigilante Bill.
It, however, had to join the rest of the world on May 1 for the International Labour Day celebration.
When business resumed in the House on Thursday morning, Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, registered his displeasure at the absence of the ministers, with a reminder that the May Day holiday was over.
“It is not for us to get to an item, where you called us to suspend holidays and come and work and you are still, as I may assume, rightly or wrongly on holiday. They must be in the mood for an emergency,” he said.
It was then that the Speaker, Professor Oquaye, entreated ministers to treat the one-week emergency sitting of the House with seriousness.
“This is my order,” he declared.
An explanation by Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, to justify the absence of the ministers, however, did not go down well with the Speaker.
The Speaker said: “Honourable Majority Leader, I am simply saying let us make progress.”
It would be recalled that the Speaker, in his welcoming address to the emergency meeting on Monday, April 20, called for maximum cooperation from the leadership and members of the House to creditably discharge their obligations.
He had said: “I hope the Executive will also cooperate with leadership by ensuring dispatch delivery of information to the House and its committees.”
“Their presence to the House as and when needed should not be a matter of explanation but actualized indeed.”