The aged old local adage that goes like ‘if a day passes without any new thing happening, then time is no more’ was given significance today May 17, 2018, on the Floor of Parliament when Members of the House refused to go home as they put it, they “were ready to work”.
The day saw the House commence public business as usual, a little past 10 O’clock forenoon with the usual correction of votes, proceedings and official report of the previous day’s business.
Various papers were laid before the House including the Annual Report of the Audit Committee of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the year 2017.
Others were the Annual Report of the Forestry Commission for the year 2015, Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Public Debt Management Report for the 2017 fiscal year, Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Report on the Management of the Energy Sector Levies and Accounts for the year 2017, as well as Report of the Finance Committee on the Annual Report on the Petroleum Funds for the 2017 fiscal year.
Motion for the day (included but not limited to) a Motion for the second reading of the Witness Protection Bill, 2017, Motion for the second reading of the Legal Aid Commission Bill, 2017, with various Committees sitting for the day, including the Business Committee, Committee on Gender and the Committee on Mines and Energy.
There was total surprise however in the House, when after the business activities of the day had been exhausted and Motion for adjournment was moved by the Deputy Majority Leader and Member for Dome Kwabenya constituency, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, there was brief hesitation over its secondment, as the norm provides.
The Deputy Majority Chief Whip and Member for Banda finally seconded the Motion for adjournment, amidst silent murmurings, especially from the Minority side of the House.
The 2nd Deputy Speaker, Hon. Alban Sumani Bagbin, who was in the Seat as the Speaker then was to put the usual question for voting “as many that are in favor of the Motion, say I; and as many that are against say no”, but the demeanor of the House, especially from the Minority side made him hesitate a while with brief observation before finally coiling the question with tact and show of Parliamentary experience.
The surprise even became more significant after putting the question, the sound of the no far overshadowed that of the yes, prompting the Speaker to admit that for the first time the ‘Nos’ have it; meaning that the House has voted against the motion for adjournment.
When he probed further to know why, the Minority group and scores of the Majority shouted, “we will not go home, we are ready to work, and we are going to work”.
The Speaker had to ask the Deputy Majority Leader whether there was anything left on the Business Paper for the day, which was negative.
Speaker therefore told Members that every business had been exhausted for the day, so there was no option than to adjourn and go home for the next day.
The question was re-put and the House this time voted for adjournment, even so with some few still voting against.
A show of nationalism and true sense of patriotism, a show of a poise for action for mother Ghana, a show of beautiful political glow; mother Ghana lives on.
Story: Frederick E. Aggrey