The Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, has expressed worry over the quality of work done in Ghana’s parliament.
The traditional ruler bemoaned what he described as the “unserious” attitude and gestures of parliamentarians, saying Parliament is not a place for jokers.
He urged MPs to exhibit seriousness when issues on the floor are being discussed.
“We don’t joke in Parliament; we voted people to Parliament on our behalf for serious parliamentary business, not for people to go and laugh when serious issues are being tabled”, Nana Nketsia said.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V went on to state that it was about time Members of Parliament (MPs) saw Parliament as the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people of Ghana and attached seriousness and respect to colleagues making a contribution in the House.
He made the remarks when the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, and parliamentarians called on him at his palace last Monday as part of activities towards the celebration of 30 years of parliamentary democracy in Ghana.
He referenced the recent debate on the mid-year budget review and expressed shock at the attitude of some MPs when John Abdulai Jinapor, an MP for Yapei Kusawwgu Constituency, was making a very important comment on the presentation.
“And to my surprise, his colleagues sitting were laughing. Then I asked myself if Parliament is a place for people to go and laugh,” he said.
“Mr. Jinapor was speaking, and his remarks were coherent and important. Those of us watching were expecting other members of the House to allow him to make his point, but what did we see? I do not know what he said it was funny,” he said.
“Let me use the opportunity to tell them that we don’t joke in Parliament. I struggle to understand why the laughter occurs or if it is because we don’t understand the English diction of the member speaking to appreciate the content of his submissions, or if the MP should have spoken in the local language for them to appreciate his points,” he said.
For him, there was a need for some level of seriousness during parliamentary proceedings.
Meanwhile, he has commended the Speaker and his team for the steps taken to send Parliament to the doorsteps of people across the country.
On his part, the Speaker said, “Parliament has long been established in Africa, traditionally by traditional rulers”.
He explained that before what exists as democracy today, African traditional leadership ran a stable system of rulership.
He stated that traditional rulers learned from the tripod system of leadership and established the kingdom together.
“Before the emergence of the colonial rulers, our kingdoms existed, and they came to learn from us and took it away, polished it, and brought it to us and told us what we had was not good and that we should follow them”, Mr. Bagbin said.
The Speaker was accompanied by the Deputy Minority Leader, Armah Kofi Buah; the Western Regional Minister and MP for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah; and other MPs.