From Fred Itua, Abuja
The West African Parliamentary Corps (WAPPC), has congratulated the newly elected Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.
This was just as the regional body demanded a full scale investigation into the clash which characterised the election of the Speaker.
The West African countries which presently constitute the membership of WAPPC are parliamentary reporters from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Benin Republic and Liberia.
Secretary-General of WAPPC, Mr. Ezrel Tabiowo, in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria, stated that the brawl in Ghana’s parliament was a major setback in the country’s quest for the deepening of democracy.
According to him, the showdown represents a clear departure from the general perception of Ghana in the West African sub-region as the oasis of peace, development and stability.
He, therefore, called on the newly elected leadership of Parliament to immediately initiate an inquiry into the incident with a view to sanctioning those involved, so as to deter undemocratic elements from further truncating the country’s democratic ideals.
The statement reads: “The membership of the West African Parliamentary Press Corps (WAPPC) congratulates the newly elected Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.
“His emergence clearly attests to his sterling qualities as an outstanding Legislator with an indisputable track record amongst Members of Parliament.
“Sadly, same cannot be said of the election process which degenerated into a clash among MPs. This, in our view, represents and contradicts how Ghana is perceived by country states within the West African sub-region.
“The clash in parliament during the election of its Speaker, presents a clear and present danger that the bastion of the country’s democracy has been infiltrated by unpatriotic elements determined to override the country’s democratic ideals in favour of the realization of self-serving political interests.
“The new leadership of Ghana’s Parliament at this critical moment must, therefore, rise to the occasion by embarking on mending fences among MPs split along political lines, with a view to reducing the risk of a possible parliamentary gridlock on key economic matters to be considered in a bid to stabilise Ghana’s economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Effort must also be made to investigate the clash, as well as sanction all those involved, so as to prevent future breakdown of law and order in parliamentary activities that would undermine the deepening of democracy in Ghana.”