Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye has expressed disappointment that an internal memo from the Minority leader intended for his office has ended up in the media.According to the Speaker, no such letter had reached his office as at morning of Tuesday 24th March 2020 and that he only received it at 12:40 pm.
The Minority leader, the Speaker noted knows the appropriate procedures for handling all matters in Parliament and would have been most appropriate if these in-house channels had been explored rather than circulating the letter in the media.
A release from the Public Affairs Department of Parliament and signed by its Director Ms. Kate Addo noted that the letter relates to the State of Emergency Bill 2020 and suggestion of how Coronavirus should be handled through a joint national effort.
“It is very strange that a letter addressed to the Speaker has gone viral on social media and other sources, while the addressee is at a loss as to its content.“Given the seriousness of the matter, the Speaker expected an expeditious action where the Minority Leader would have approached and conferred with the Speaker for necessary action.”
“On Saturday, the Minority Leader was absent from the House. Again yesterday, Monday, 23/03/2020, he was conspicuously absent both at the Leaders Meeting and in the Chamber.”
“As at 10.00 am today, when the House was getting ready to sit, he had not been seen by Speaker, having once again being absent from the pre sitting meeting where the Speaker confers with the Leadership before proceedings,” the release stated.
The Speaker advised all members that Ghana is in a state of emergency and that Parliament will proceed to do business as the emergency situation requires.“The Speaker invites the cooperation of all well-meaning and patriotic MPs and Ghanaians to cooperate and not be inhibitive in any way against national interest,” it states.