By Christopher Arko, GNA
Accra, June 28 GNA – Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, on Thursday prevented Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, from contributing to a statement on Ghanaian migrants currently being held by the Spanish authorities.
This followed a news article written by the MP, criticizing government’s handling of the 29 Ghanaian migrants confined to a refugee camp in Spain.
Mr Habib Tijani, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs had appeared before the House on behalf of Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the substantive Minister, to brief the members on claims of inhuman treatment of the migrants.
The Deputy Minister said it was untrue that anybody was being ill-treated, adding that, they were only being held as illegal migrants.
Mr. Ablakwa, who is the ranking member on Foreign Affairs, under the rules of the House, should have been given the opportunity to speak on the but the Speaker would not allow that,
Prof Oquaye said by choosing to go first to the media, the MP had ignored Parliament.
He added since Mr Ablakwa had already been discussing the matter in the public when he knew the issue was before the House, there was no point permitting him to speak on it on the floor of the House.
“Any honourable member, who intends to bring a matter before this House by our rules and privileges, must come to this House and not turn it into a gallery of media play.”
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, gave backing to the Speaker’s decision, describing Mr. Ablakwa’s action as “un-parliamentary”.
He counselled that the MPs showed decorum. They should ensure that the sanctity and integrity of the House was protected.
“If we want to debate any issue in this House, bring it here. When we have finished and members do not have satisfaction they could go outside and engage the media.”