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Opinions of Sunday, 5 June 2011

Columnist: Ibrahim, Faisal

Re: The hypocrisy of the Minority Leader of Ghana's Parliament

I write to react to the article with titled “The hypocrisy of the Minority Leader of Ghana's Parliament” published on on the 3rd of June, 2011. I react to this article not because I have authority from the competent and diligent Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, but because I happen to be in parliament house the day Hon. Innusah Fuseini raised this matter on the floor of the house.

The author, John Tigo, appears to have personal issues with the Minority Leader. In the first place, the Minority Leader never said he “sees nothing divisive about a colleague of his who thinks that “Northerners have turned the North into breeding grounds of violence”. It is an untruth being peddled by the author who just wants to attack the person of the celebrated Minority Leader. The Minority leader challenged the authenticity and accuracy of the English translation of the statements purportedly said by the Member of Parliament for Fanteakwa, Hon. Edward Asiamah. Indeed, the Minority Leader prior to the House convening had met Hon. Inusah Fuseini. Hon. Fuseini informed the Minoirty Leader he was going to petition that the MP for Fanteakwa is dragged before the privileges committee for some disparaging comments he had made on a radio about Northerners. The Minority Leader listened to the audio and advised Hon. Fuseini against the petition because the audio he had heard was not disparaging like the English translation contained in Hon. Fuseini’s petition. Hon. Fusieni did not heed to the advice from the Minority Leader. One gets the impression Hon. Fuseini does not understand the Twi language that well.

So Hon. Fuseini read out the English translation of the statements the MP for Fanteakwa was purported to have made. While listening to him, I personally felt insulted and incensed, until MPs from the minority side challenged the translation. Infact, Hon. Mathew Prempeh rose up in support of the petition. He said he had listened to the live program and what the MP for Fanteakwa said was no where disparaging as contained in the petition presented by Hon. Fuseini. It was at the conclusion that part of this debate that the Hon. Minority Leader averred the minds of all MPs that according the standing orders of the house, any member who presents to the house frivolous and groundless allegation must be dragged to the privileges committee. The debate ended with a ruling from the Speaker, Rt Hon. Bamford Addo that the matter will be addressed by the leadership of the house before a final decision will be taken.

Just hours after this sitting, the Minority Leader, a true leader that he is issued a statement t. The statement insisted the comments by the Fanteakwa MP have been twisted. “In the meantime if the statement by the Hon. MP has given offence to MPs or any other person, the party unreservedly apologise” the statement humbly requested.

Providing these chronological events, how can the author of the said article, John Tigo, suggest Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu “sees nothing divisive about a colleague of his who thinks that “Northerners have turned the North into breeding grounds of violence”. It is clear the author had little knowledge about this matter but wanted to write something to cause mischief.

I heard the statements made by the Fanteakwa MP in the Twi language. I think his advice must be taken seriously by all development and peace loving Northerners. The Northern Region needs development fast. Development can not happen in a chaotic North. Businesses can not open up in a chaotic North. Employment can not come to a chaotic North. Good roads can not come to a chaotic North. Good schools can not come to a chaotic North. Good hospitals can not come to a chaotic North. It is only poverty, hunger, unemployment and other vices that will strive in a chaotic North. Let us exercise a great deal of patience in chieftaincy and political matters. Let us give peace a chance.

Finally, Hon. Inussah Fuseini has withdrawn his petition. I want
to believe his confusion has been cleared. Indeed on News Night, Joy fm did their own independent translation of the statements and it was no where near what Hon. Fuseini read in the house. Whoever did the translation for Hon. Fuseini did a great disservice to this nation. I hope the person is not one of the usual reckless propaganda warriors.

I hope the author, John Tigo, in the future will exercise more restraint and seek more knowledge of issue before putting pen to paper. People’s reputation must not be destroyed because of the ignorance of writers and authors.