The rift between Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye and the Minority has hit another low point as the opposition MPs accuse the former of extreme partisanship and gagging them from expressing their views.
According to the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu constituency, Ghana is a Republic and operates parliamentary democracy emphasising Professor Oquaye is “Speaker of Parliament and not the Monarch of Parliament”.
He said the: “Speaker described Parliament as ‘Ahenfie’ (Chief’s Palace) and that if you are taking a matter to ‘Ahenfie’ you don’t talk about it publicly or announce it in the village”.
Addressing the press in parliament on Thursday 28 June 2018, Mr Ablakwa said the “Speaker is simply gagging Members of Parliament”.
He explained that the “Speaker is suggesting that upon my return from Valencia, Spain, I should not talk to you in the media, I should not convey the plight of the migrants I went to visit and start a national debate which will be continued in Parliament and that is why the Speaker could not state anywhere in our Standing Orders or the Constitution of Ghana that says if you are coming to make a statement in Parliament you cannot speak in public”.
For him, the conduct of the Speaker is alien to the rules of Parliament adding Professor Oquaye “has descended into crass partisan politics”.
According to him the European Union (EU) is discussing how to control illegal immigration in the wake of hundreds of rescued migrants on the Mediterranean Sea yet “we are here bickering and engage in petty partisan politics undercutting and undermining our opponents, abusing our Majority, abusing our Speakership, using tools all kinds of tools not known to the Constitution and not known to our Standing Orders”.
Mr Ablakwa reported that at least 29 Ghanaians were among some 629 illegal migrants who were left stranded on the Mediterranean sea after Italian and Maltese authorities rejected them.
The African migrants were rescued by the vessel Aquarius, operated by Doctors without Borders (MSF) and Franco-German charity SOS Mediterranee as they journeyed on a rubber inflated dinghies on the sea to Europe for greener pastures.
Mr Ablakwa who visited Valencia, Spain, where the rescued immigrants were given refuge by the Spanish authorities after Italy and Malta turned them away said in his interaction with the Ghanaians, they recounted harrowing accounts of their journey from Techiman in Ghana to Niger, then to Libya across the 9,200,000 square kilometre Sahara desert, before paying for their passage on board the dinghies from Libya to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
In a statement, the North Tongu lawmaker said: “They spoke to me about how extremely lucky they felt to have survived considering that majority of those they began the journey with lost their lives.
“According to them, the first casualties occurred between Niger and Libya at the hands of militias and those who could not withstand the harsh desert conditions. Another round of deaths were recorded in Libya at the hands of notorious gang leaders while a final batch perished at sea when their dinghies capsized which as they narrate is quite a common spectacle.”
Mr Ablakwa has called on government to speak on the matter and to consider “improving security at the migrant routes within our territorial boundaries.”
He tasked the National Commission for Civic Education and the Information Services Department to intensify education on the dangers of embarking on such voyages for greener pastures in Europe.
Source : Ghana/ClassFMonline.com