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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Source: GNA

Parliament in sombre mood

Accra, July 15, GNA - Members of Parliament were in a sombre mood on Tuesday as they expressed shock at the death of Mr. Peter Ala Adjetey, former Speaker of Parliament.

Groups and individuals sat and reflected on the personality that presided over sittings of the House during the first term of the ruling New Patriotic Party.

The former Speaker died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra on Tuesday morning, but the House is yet to be officially informed of his passing away.

Deputy Majority Leader and Minister of State, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensa Bonsu in an interview told journalists that the death of Mr Adjetey was a tragic loss to, not only Parliament as an institution, but also the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), his family, the Ghana Bar Association, Africa Bar Association and the legal profession.

"He was without doubt a legal luminary in the real sense of the word, not an ordinary lawyer who adopted positions and titles for the sake of them, but rose through the ranks to become the president of the Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), the GBA itself and the Africa Bar Association.

"He served as Chairman of the NPP, Speaker of the Parliament, and was a man with deep knowledge; his life should be a lesson to all. He never missed the occasion to say that he was the son of a fisherman," Mr. Bonsu said.

Mr Bonsu said despite the age of Mr Adjetey, he attended to the business of the House with consciousness of time.

He said Mr Adjetey also gave fair and balanced opportunities to Members of the House from both the Majority and Minority sides to make contributions to discussions on the floor of the House. The Deputy Majority Leader said: "On hindsight after his exit from the Chair of the House, I see the wisdom with which he worked assiduously in making Parliament independent."

Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Leader of Minority, who also expressed shock at the death of the former Speaker, described him as very strong and committed to the NPP, despite missing an attempt to become president of Ghana.

"He discharged himself creditably, although there were a few rough edges... Peter was one of the most loyal, committed and patriotic Ghanaians and he did this with all his might."

Mr Bagbin praised Mr Adjetey as very hard working personality, saying he could sit from morning till evening and even into the night. "He was honest, truthful, dedicated to mother Ghana." According to the Minority Leader, Mr Adjetey, with whom he worked at various levels, was like a father, who was very intelligent, eloquent in his communication and ready to carry his convictions beyond personal levels.

"We need to get people like him to him to lead us. Peter as Speaker and Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Board instituted an award for hard work, and worked to get the offices of Parliament to get the institution properly arranged," Mr Bagbin said, adding that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would make a tribute at the appropriate time.

Former Senior Minister Joseph Henry Mensah, a veteran politician, and MP for Sunyani East, recalled the contributions of Mr Adjetey to democracy, since the First Republic, and praised him for improvements in the physical structures of Parliament during his tenure as Speaker.