Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has descended heavily on the minority members in Parliament for accusing the Speaker of the House, Professor Mike Oquaye, of being bias.
The verbal fracas started during the passage of the Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2018 where Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak described the quantum of decrease in fuel prices as deceitful.
The Asawase MP was compelled by the Speaker to withdraw the word. He later returned to raise an issue of lack of quorum only to be ignored by the Speaker.
This brought in the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu who had some strong words for the Speaker after being made to stand on his feet for a while without recognition.
“…So, if I rose Mr. Speaker, you owe me; I don’t want to ever disrespect you but if you invite me I would,” said Mr. Haruna, immediately sending the House into chaos.
Feared for being misconstrued, the Minority Leader clarified his comments by saying: “I say I don’t ever want to disrespect him because I owe him respect. But, I’m saying he must respect me as Minority Leader and when I stand on the rules, he must as reciprocity [allow me to speak].”
But Mr. Mensah-Bonsu argued the speaker did no wrong. According to him, he rather finds fault with the attitude of the Minority Leader who he believes is supposed to be role model to his colleagues.
“I think the minority members are over-reacting and it’s very bad for our democracy. Haruna Iddrisu and his colleagues need to know better. MPs are supposed to be role models but theirs is just the opposite.
Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the Minority’s claim is a misunderstanding of the Speaker’s conduct because the two sides have always received equal treatment.
In defending Prof Oquaye, he said, “The man wants to broaden the horizon of democratic governance, especially to allow parliament to exercise its oversight responsibilities so he gives space”, he said on Accra-based Okay FM.