22 February 2013

Ghana: We Have Not Regretted Boycott - NPP New MPs

SOME NEWLY-elected Members of Parliament of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have deflated the assertions that the boycott of some of the major activities in the house by the party is having a psychological effect on them.

There are suggestions that the refusal by the main opposition party to participate in some of the major proceedings in the house, particularly the vetting of nominees have denied some new MPs the opportunity to exhibit their deep knowledge to Ghanaians and their constituents.

There are claims by some activists of the ruling National Democratic Congress(NDC) that newly elected legislators from the NPP are not happy with the party's decision because they have not had the opportunity to feel the atmosphere in the august house.

It will be recalled that some fresh faces in the house, like the MPs for Manhyia, Bekwai and Akyem Abuakwa South, Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Joe Osei Wusu and Atta Kyea, made early impacts in the house during the vetting process, as they asked probing questions.

The opposition NPP MPs have since the commencement of the new Parliament, refused to participate in any activity involving the executive arm of government, with major ones involving the President's inauguration, vetting of ministers and the President's State of the Nation Address delivered yesterday, as they challenge the legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama at the Supreme Court.

But two new MPs of the party have denied the assertion, contending that they have not in any way regretted being part of the decision to boycott executive activities in the house.

Both MPs of Ejura and the Asante Akyem Agogo constituencies, Hon. Salisu Mohammed Bamba and Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang respectively, have in separate interviews, refuted the allegations, describing them as figment of people's imagination.

According to them, the decision to boycott some activities in the house was unanimously decided and approved by all the NPP MPs in the interest of the party and not an imposition by the leadership of the party.

Hon. Bamba contended in an interview that the party is fully confidence about winning the case filed at the Supreme Court and would, therefore, continue to uphold the decision not to fully legitimize the Presidency of John Mahama by participating in executive activities in the house.

Defending the minority MPs decision to stage a walkout from the house yesterday, Hon. Bamba said there was no way the party would legitimize the illegitimacy.

Hon. Bamba said it was not the first time MPs were staging a walkout, stressing that during their time in opposition, the NDC staged several walkouts during State of the Nation addresses.

He further said the new MPs were very much comfortable with activities so far in the house and did not, therefore, require any further participation to justify their role as legislators.

On his part, the MP for Asante Akyem Agogo, Mr. Kwadwo Baah, who is also a ranking member on Youth and Sports, refused to be drawn into discussing the President's address, claiming he did not watch the proceedings and, therefore, could not comment on it.

He, however, defended the decision to boycott the President's address, claiming it was in the right direction.

"We have stated unequivocally that we will not participate in any executive activities and so why should people expect us to be there when the President delivers a State of the Nation address," he queried. Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang therefore disclosed that the party will present the true state of the nation on Tuesday.

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