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Politics of Tuesday, 23 July 2019


I had dreams of becoming an MP as far back as 1969 - Joe Osei-Owusu

In a world where very few people are able to achieve their childhood dreams, it is perhaps, a wonderful fairytale to have a childhood dream materialise the exact same way envisaged.

That is the story of the First Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu who had a dream to be a legislator in the country as far back as 1969.

According to Mr. Osei-Owusu, a dream at a rather young age of he being an MP continuously tingled with his thought process from that very day till the day he eventually won elections to be a representative in Ghana’s legislative arm of government.

Narrating his life experiences and his role as a member of parliament and as the first deputy speaker of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic, Mr. Osei-Owusu revealed that, “I think from 1969/1970, I dreamt I will be a member of parliament.”

Explaining how this childhood dream was sustained at that tender age, the legislator narrated that as a young boy, it was always his responsibility to buy newspapers for his dad. Since he had already developed the ability to read at that tender age, he was able to read the full paper before delivering it to his waiting dad. He took a very keen interest in the column known at that time as Today In Parliament.

The column chronicled daily proceedings in parliament.

“My father used to send me to buy newspapers. Every time, there was a column called Today in Parliament, before I bring it back to him, on the way, I would have finished reading that. I started reading quite early. I love reading. From that time, I was always reading proceedings in parliament from 1969, 1970 up to the coup’s time in 1971 and later in 1979?, the NPP legislator narrated.

The third-term MP revealed that what solidified his interest to become a legislator was an incident which happened during the regime of President Hilla Limann around 1978/1979. He vividly narrated how two ministers in Limann’s government were dismissed for criticising the President at the time.

Mr. Osei-Owusu, who was a student in a second cycle institution at the time held the opinion that it was not right for the ministers to be dismissed for independently speaking their minds.

As a young boy who loved independence and always wanted to speak his mind, he could not come to terms as to why persons should be punished for the singular reason of freely expressing themselves, ABC News observed in the interview.

He later realised such punishment would not have been meted out to them if these affected ministers were members of parliament. As an expressive individual who would not like to be manipulated, he concluded that if someday he will work in government, he would do it in the confines of a chamber, clothed with the powers of the constitution and able to put governments in check when they go wrong.

“In 1978/1979, I remember vividly during President Limann’s government, some two ministers were dismissed; Carl Reindorf and Joe Reindorf. Carl Reindorf criticised the government or the other criticise the government. One was minister for interior and the other was minister for justice (Attorney General). One was dismissed and the other came to criticise further and he was also dismissed or resigned. I told myself if they were MPs, nobody would have dismissed them for speaking their minds. I was in secondary school then, I love my independence and I love to think the way I think and state my position clearly. So I knew that someday if I am going to be in government, I want to be an MP where I would not be subject to directions”, he asserted.