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General News of Monday, 28 February 2022


Ken Agyapong missed Parliament for 18 days, why attack Adwoa Safo? - Murtala Mohammed

Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed

Adwoa Safo away from the country for months

Adwoa Safo did not seek permission from me to be absent, Speaker

E-Levy is yet to be considered

Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, has questioned why the members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have launched an attack on Adwoa Safo over her absence in parliament, when there have been similar incidents by colleague MPs that have gone unnoticed.

Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, the MP said Kennedy Agyapong who recently launched an attack against Adwoa Safo has been absent for more than 15 days in previous times, thereby violating the Standing Orders of the House and yet nothing was done to him.

“If Adwoa Safo returns today, they (the majority) will still not have the numbers to pass E-Levy. That is why I tell them that when we have the likes of Kennedy Agyapong attacking Adwoa Safo and the need for the Standing Order to be invoked because Adwoa Safo missed sitting for 15 days. Kennedy Agyapong missed sitting for 18 days why are they not talking about that. Why are they interested in Adwoa Safo?” he quizzed.

According to him, Adwoa Safo’s return to the chamber may still not guarantee the Majority side the 137 number they need for the approval of the E-Levy.

“If Adwoa Safo returns today NPP will still not have the numbers to pass E-Levy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has refuted claims suggesting that Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya asked for permission to absent herself from the house.

According to him, it is not the duty of the Speaker to determine who is present or absent in the house as it has been captured in the Votes and Proceedings.

He denied granting any interview on the matter relating to Adwoa Safo.

“...I want it to be known by all that I have not granted any such interview anywhere. I have not said anything like that anywhere and the votes and proceedings of the house are so loud that if she is absent without permission for all those days, that is on the votes and proceedings of the house. It is not the Speaker who determines who is present and who is absent.”

From 2017 to 2020, Sarah Adwoa Safo served as the Deputy Majority Leader but was replaced at the start of the second term of the NPP government, and rather offered a ministerial role at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

She has however been out of the country in the last few months for a number of reasons including health grounds, the NPP Chairman, Freddie Blay, had earlier stated.

Adwoa Safo’s absence from parliament has been a major talking point also because it has been a blockade, among other things, in the successful passage of the controversial Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) by the Majority.