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General News of Tuesday, 25 January 2022


Speaker not an MP, for what reason will gov't gag him? - Egyapa Mercer quizzes

Andrew Egyapa Mercer play videoAndrew Egyapa Mercer

Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Egyapa Mercer has lambasted the Minority in Parliament for claiming the withdrawal of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin's military protection is politically motivated and geared towards gagging him.

The Minority led by its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, have expressed disgust over the order for four soldiers who were guarding the Speaker to return to base.

According to a letter signed by Major General Nicholas Peter Andoh, the Chief of Staff at the General Headquarters of GAF, the soldiers were "attached to the Office of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament without the proper procedure".

The Chief of Staff, therefore, requested the ''personnel are withdrawn with effect from 14 January 2022 while efforts are made to regularise their attachment''.

To the Minority, ''the only reason given for the shameful withdrawal of Mr Speaker’s security detail is that the attachment was done without following the proper procedure''.

They added; ''Curiously, the government fails and/or omits to spell out the procedure for the attachment of military personnel to high profile personalities such as the Speaker of Parliament. If the action of the military high command is in good faith, the irregularity in relation to the attachment could be rectified without necessarily having to withdraw the personnel...the minority is certain that the action of the military high command relative to the withdrawal of Mr Speaker’s security detail is politically motivated and calculated to diminish his confidence in his bid to impartially and independently steer the affairs of the legislative arm of government.''

Responding to the Minority's claims, Lawyer Egyapa Mercer was of a strong view that they have taken such position on the Speaker's issue because of the controversial e-levy proposed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, which they strongly oppose.

According to him, the Minority just wants to stir political emotions.

''The entrenched position that they have taken is borne out of their political interest, not the interest of Ghanaians'', he told host Nana Yaw Kesseh on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo''.

On the claim that the government is gagging the Speaker, he said ''the Speaker is not a Member of Parliament. He doesn't participate in our voting'' and so asked ''the government wants to gag him to achieve what?''