Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye has once again expressed displeasure at the seeming lack of interest by Members of Parliament in the business of the legislative House.
According to him, the consistent poor attendance tells the public that MPs are not serious about the legislature and their work in the House.
The visibly unhappy Speaker met less than thirty MPs in the house when he entered the chamber this morning [Thursday].
“I will pray that we take this obligation seriously, we have to take our nation seriously because it is by the combined effort of all of us doing our bit that there can be progress and development in our country,” the Speaker admonished MPs.
It appears the practice of MPs not showing up in Parliament has been ongoing for some time now.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu recently expressed similar concerns over the attendance of MPs.
He had earlier called on MPs to attach some urgency to the business of the House.
85 MPs absented themselves from parliament without permission – Report
Many have complained about some MPs’ seeming apathy to the work of Parliament as they continue to absent themselves for sittings.
Ministers of State who double as Members of Parliament were the worst culprits of absenteeism without permission during the First and Second sittings of the Seventh Parliament, 2017.
The Ministers, including deputies, absented themselves from at least 15 sittings without the permission of the Speaker of Parliament.
This was contained in a report by Odekro; a civil society organization focused on activities of the legislature.
According to the report, the guilty MPs consisted of 18 Ministers and 21 Deputy Ministers.
Speaker meets ’empty’ Parliament; scolds MPs for lateness
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, in October 2017 was angry at Members of Parliament for being late for meetings of the House.
His comments followed the presence of fewer than five MPs on their seats, at the time proceedings were scheduled to begin at 10:00 am.
Disappointed by the emptiness of the House, Prof. Oquaye rebuked the MPs and charged leaders of the House to get members on the floor to do business on time, saying the taxpayers do not expect lateness from them.
“Our people who pay us expect that work should be done, so let us at least take the opportunity to see how we can contain the situation to ameliorate the problem rather than taking advantage of it and going home,” he added.