Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Ocquaye, has rubbished last Monday’s public uproar on both new and traditional media that Parliament was unconcerned about the plights of the victims of last Friday’s accidents that claimed over 70 lives.
The Speaker explained that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kintampo South Constituency in the Bono East Region, Ms Felicia Adjei, whose constituency the first accident occurred, had been earlier tasked by the leadership of Parliament to brief the House.
It was unfortunate that the MP was still in her constituency dealing with the aftermath of the accident and thus, commiserations were shelved until her return.
So the public uproar last Monday for honouring the memory of victims of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe as well as the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand without a statement on the gory incidents back home was most unfortunate, the Speaker noted.
Prof Ocquaye emphasised that Parliament was concerned about the accidents and that it was unfortunate that the public misunderstood their actions.
According to him, “Of the road accidents involving the two buses, it has come to my attention that some members of the public have wondered why there was no statement of this tragedy yesterday in this honourable house at the time when we had talked about some tragedies elsewhere. We have a parliamentary press corps if the media will engage them on such matters before relevant reportage because we had good reason yesterday, the honourable member who had already filed a statement had to go outside because of what had occurred in her constituency and leadership agreed that she must be the appropriate person to lead the statement of this in this honourable house.”
He also added: “We will want the public to also publish this as a way of reflecting the truth of the matter, this house is very much concerned about such matters and will address such matters with expedition and dutifully.”
Meanwhile, the Kintampo South MP, Felicia Adjei, who read a statement on the floor of the House, called on the government to support the families of the victims.
As a measure to deal with road accidents in the country, the Kintampo South MP called on the Ministry of Roads and Highways to dualise all major highways in the country.
“The Ministry of Roads and Highways must collaborate and make our roads much safer for the travelling populace. This accident could have been avoided if the driver of one of the vehicles had listened to the passengers according to a survivor’s account… Government through the ministry of roads and highway should- as a matter of urgency- extend the roads to double lanes and also provide street lights to all our major highways.”
“We are appealing to government to- as a matter of urgency- identify the families of the perished victims and duly support such families to recover from their losses.”
The MPs, however, later observed a minute silence for the victims of the accidents during Tuesday’s sitting.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Mike Ocquaye, Speaker of Parliament