VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS AND THE OFFICIAL REPORT
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 17th February, 2017. Page 1, 2, 3…11 --
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I am sorry. I have been up since you called page 8. Mr Speaker, the attendance list would suggest to us that all 275 Members of Parliament were present in the Chamber. That certainly is incorrect. I know for a fact that Hon Freda Prempeh has sought leave from you and has travelled. I know for a fact that Hon Laadi Ayamba has also sought leave from you and has also travelled since Monday. Indeed, the two of them, at least, were not in the Chamber, and yet they have been marked as having been present in the Chamber. Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that I keep insisting that we should have the attendance register signed by Members of Parliament. It should be kept in the Mails Room as evidence of attendance. If you attend, you sign. Mr Speaker, the Chief Whip for the Minority is saying that a former Speaker ruled that it may not be the final determinant. That could be true, but even the Supreme Court is not bound by the decisions made by an earlier court. They may not be necessarily bound. They could change it. So, Mr Speaker, you may not be bound by that decision, and I think where we are, occasionally, we have the staff of Parliament bringing notebooks to the plenary Sitting for Hon Members to identify themselves and sign. Mr Speaker, genuine mistakes will occur. So, let us revisit what we used to do. My suggestion is that we should have that as the attendance register for every one of us to sign and that will represent a clear testimony. Mr Speaker, if anybody should travel out and anything should happen right now, it becomes difficult to explain where the person is -- Perish the thought that anything should happen to them -- But the impression would have been created that they were in the Chamber whereas they would have been outside the jurisdiction. Mr Speaker, I guess we should come to some determination on that. What should be done to ensure that Hon Members who attend to the Business of this House are properly identified and marked as present in participating in plenary proceedings? Mr Speaker, that is my submission.
Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Mr Speaker, I think we have all agreed that we should find a way to capture Hon Members who attend to the House. As the Hon Member said, this was supposed to be test run and what ought to have been done at the outset was for us to register our fingerprints, then that becomes the standard of measure. Unfortunately, when they brought it, it was never done. So, anybody can come and sit here and pretend to be the person and punch the finger. Mr Speaker, I am saying that we have to register first for it to be captured. When they introduced it, it was never done, at least, when were here. It must be done and followed through. Mr Speaker, in other jurisdictions, what happens is that, an Hon Member is provided a seat and he stays there and talks from there. An Hon Member does not keep rotating places. It is never done anywhere. And yet, we are so liberal about these things. We should not ever have situations where Hon Members from the Majority side will cross to the Minority side to sit and chat; it is never done in any serious jurisdiction.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, thankfully, the Hon Majority Leader, Leader of Government Business and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs is to provide leadership. We will support his leadership in the reforms. He does not belong to the world of stating problems again. He is to provide solutions. I think the solution lies in the use of our biometric data. This should not be one of a decorative infrastructure. It must be used fully, so that we can capture the biodata of Hon Colleagues and we begin using that. Alternatively, we can make use of another redundant infrastructure which will be the signing of the books, so that at all times, where necessary, we can reconcile the two. Even though we should have the primary source of it, which should be the dedicated IT system, which is for that purpose. Mr Speaker, I know that the Hon Majority Leader believes in reforms. We will support him in so long as those reforms make us more responsive, stronger and a more efficient Parliament. On whether Hon Members walk across to find comfort, I am not too sure about . This is because he has not provided a pillow anywhere in this Chamber where Hon Members cross for purposes of comfort. Sometimes, it is the consultations. Mr Speaker, the Hon Majority Leader must again encourage us to use the appropriate structure which is the divide at the bar to reach out to each other in order to build consensus. Mr Speaker, while we are still on the Votes and Proceedings, I have noted that there were many other significant political players who were in the Chamber to support you receive the President to deliver the Message on the State of the Nation. Mr Speaker, to mention just a few, Rt Hon Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Hughes and there were representatives of all the political parties. Since this is a House of records and to show the cohesiveness and unity of our country, I still think that a certain category of our guests for that purpose should not be left out. Even though we may not have the full record of the Diplomatic Corps, it is important sometimes -- we know are the friends of this country and the friends of Parliament, so that tomorrow, when we are capturing the key identifiable persons and institutions, they will be recognised appropriately. So, Mr Speaker, with your guidance, we will support the reformist Hon Majority Leader to lead the necessary reforms of this House to make this Parliament a more responsive one. Thank you. 11. 20 a. m.
Thank you very much Hon Members. In the first place, I would urge that the Leadership and the Clerk to Parliament should meet me in the Lobby soon after this Sitting, so that we can look at this biometric approach and take immediate steps towards implementation. Secondly, that we should have on record a dedicated notebook for all visitors on formal occasions to register as they come into the Chamber, so that we can acknowledge all relevant persons. The Clerk and his secretariat will ensure. Hon Members, page 10…12 Hon Members, the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 17th February, 2017, as corrected are hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.
[No correction was made to the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 21 st February, 2017.]
[No correction was made to the Official Report of Tuesday, 14th February, 2017.]
Yes, Hon Member?
Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, something spectacular has happened to the production of the 2017 diaries of Parliament, which I would want to draw the attention of the House to. Mr Speaker, I decided to go through the diaries and read something about Parliament, but as I read, I discovered that with the diaries, from the big size to the small ones, including the medium size, when one goes to the pages that contain the constituencies of the country, the Western Region where I come from, the Upper East Region, the Volta Region and the Upper West Region are all completely missing. They can only be found in the big size diary. Mr Speaker, I do not know what happened, whether it is a way of wiping away the Western Region from the map of Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I have not seen the diary that the Hon Member talks about, but what I do know is that diaries for succeeding years are done the previous years. So, if the Hon Member has any blames, then he knows Mr Speaker, notwithstanding, if there are any challenges, then we would look at them.
Hon Members, before we proceed further, there is this announce- ment that I would like to make. All Hon Members of Parliament are invited to the Holy Spirit Catholic Cathedral for a special consecration service for the Republic of Ghana. The tradition, in this regard, had started as early as 1957, just before our Independence. The invitation is for 4th March, 2017, at 5.00 p.m. at the Cathedral, in commemora- tion of our independence anniversary celebrations. The Highest Cardinal in Rome, next only to the Pope, would be present in Ghana to help bless our nation. Hon Members are duly informed. Hon Members, item numbered 3 -- Statements -- The Bimbilla Situation in the Northern Region of Ghana. Statement by the Hon Minister for the Interior.
Thank you very much, Hon Minister. We have other Statements on our hands and Leadership has agreed on a certain process of handling same. I will call the Hon Minority Leader and then the Hon Majority Leader and we will go to the second Statement.
Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Statement made by the Hon Minister for the Interior, Hon Ambrose Dery on the Bimbilla situation in the Northern Region. I note that he led a Government delegation to Bimbilla on the 14th of February. Ideally, next time, we would be happy to contribute to the delegation in order that we all share and have the full facts on the ground and to make appropriate recommendations. Mr Speaker, may I refer you to page 6 of the Statement and express concern. “Resources are required to support the effort to achieve peace, security and safety in Bimbilla. Hon Dominic Bingab Aduna Nitiwul, Member of Parliament for Bimbilla has been very supportive. The Government has also been very supportive in this regard.” Mr Speaker, we know that Hon Nitiwul is the Member of Parliament Member of Parliament for that area, but for this purpose, he is a Minister of State of the Republic and not just any portfolio but the Minister for Defence. We should have a better appreciation of how he is collaborating with his Colleagues to maintain peace and order in that particular area. On other concerns, I refer to page 2 of the Hon Minister's comment: “On Wednesday, 8th February, 2017, REGSEC in Tamale, received intelligence information that a planned enskinment of one Mumuni Haruna as Bimbilla Kumabi by the Regent of Bimbilla had the potential to adversely impact the peace of Bimbilla and its environs.” Mr Speaker, what happened to our early warning signal and the urgency of deployment? This is because if you go further into the Hon Minister's Statement, he says: “Later, on the morning of 9 th February, 2017…” So, when you received intelligence, military training -- decisiveness. You had intelligence on the 8th and this is already a security threatened area and zone known by the developments of 2014, 2015 and 2016. It means that there was a lapse in acting because that was why you had already stationed police and military presence in Bimbilla. I say so to guide what future action and intervention should be. Suffice it to add that Naa Abarika Andani was murdered even while there was security presence in that particular area in 2015. Justice has not been done. Mr Speaker, bear with me to share some details. Following even the death of Nakpa Naa Salifu who has not been buried since 2014, what are the underpinning cultural issues? We need to understand, even as I see the road map that the Hon Minister for the Interior has shared. I am sure that both cultures are similar, whether Dagbon, Nanumba or Mamprugu, who aspires to be Bimbilla Naa, aspire to the paramountcy. If it is dedicated, as I know by my little anthropology of Dagbon and Nanum, it is dedicated to sons. Sons of a Bimbilla Naa can become the Naa Bimbilla. Not non- sons. Therefore, the Hon Minister must be interested in knowing. Even the conflict between Bangyili and Gbimayili -- There have been instances where even though intra, there have been attacks from one side onto the other where members of Gbimayili have issues with the Bangyili persons. That also must engage the attention of the Minister for the Interior and the Government's security agencies. Nakpa Naa and his burial, the body -- Mr Speaker, I share this because I happened to be in Tamale around the West Hospital. I saw military presence at the morgue of West Hospital. So, curiously, I walked there to find out why the military were at the mortuary. I was told that the body of Nakpa Naa Salifu was in the morgue. That was when I took interest to understand what the problem is. They said it has to do with the regent chieftaincy conflict. The Hon Minister is right that the undercurrent of Bimbilla and its conflict is chieftaincy and succession. More importantly, our inability to deal ruthlessly with the murders of 2015 of Naa Abarika
who succeeded to the skin as paramount chief of that area -- Mr Speaker, it is also a fact that both the Regional House of Chiefs and the National House of Chiefs have ruled in favour of the Naa Andani Gate, which is now the matter pending before the Supreme Court. So, at least, within the judicial organs of the House of Chiefs, there is a decision which has not been respected. In the first decision, there was favourable ruling from the Regional House of Chiefs. It was contested and went to the National House of Chiefs. That has also ruled favourably. In fact, the National House of Chiefs upheld the decision of the Regional House of Chiefs which is the matter which has been referred to the Supreme Court. However, there is no respect for those decisions. That itself contributes to the tensions and conflicts of Bimbilla. Mr Speaker, REGSEC and DISEC in times past and not to hold -- What were DISEC and REGSEC's roles in this particular matter. The Hon Minister must be seen working on them. As I indicated, in Dagbon, Mamprugu and even sometimes Gonja, you can determine the succession gate to the paramountcy. I know he is sitting with my Hon Colleague who comes from Savelugu, where I properly in Dagbon culture hail from. For instance, in Dagbon, we know that anybody sitting on the Mion throne must have his eyes heading towards the Yen Naa to become the Yaa Naa. When you get to Mion, without bearing any difficulty, you are to succeed in becoming the overlord of Dagbon. I am sure in Gonjaland, I hope to get it right, Kpemgbe -- When you move from a certain stool, we know that you are heading towards Yogbon which is also established culturally. Within Nanum, there is the same establishment. The problem is those who are not associated with this succession, wanting to impose themselves on it. If you are not a son, you are not a son. If you are not a grandchild, you are not a grandchild. However, where you purport that now you want to succeed though you are a non-son who now wants to occupy the position dedicated and reserved for sons, you would have a problem. I just thought that I should share this, so that the National Security and the Hon Minister for the Interior -- I know he means well and we would support him. Mr Speaker, I am sure my able Hon Chairman of the Appointments Committee is here. He would now understand why when we were vetting the Hon Northern Regional Minister, I chose to speak Dagbani and he kept insisting that I should translate it. I dealt with this same matter and admonished the chiefs and Imams of that area to help Government find a lasting solution to it.
If Mr Speaker welcomes you, that is all right. But I am contributing to the Statement. Mr Speaker, the number of deaths --
Yes, Hon Minister for Defence?
Mr Speaker, I would just want to plead with Hon Members -- I hope the Hon Minority Leader may be the last Member to contribute or there may be
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Speaker, I would be guided but I would be guided only by the truth as I know it and read it and know about that culture. [Hear! Hear!] If we do not stop burying these issues, we would only be dealing with the scare of the wound; we should go deep inside. What informs these developments is what I have shared and let any student of Nandom, Dagbon or Gonja challenge the facts that I have shared. Mr Speaker, there is a book I would share with the Hon Minister for the Interior. David Tate has a good anthropological writing on understanding the acephalous societies and he makes very insightful researches on many of these groups. Mr Speaker, there have been rulings on Regional House of Chiefs and National House of Chiefs that have not been respected and that is part of the source of this conflict. Mr Speaker, with the roadmap the Hon Minister shared, we would need to support him. What is important and the primary responsibility of Government is to maintain law and order and to save property but more importantly, to use the Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover: On a point of order. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member for Bimbilla and Minister for Defence shared with us the possibility of a potential danger. When the Hon Minority Leader was talking, he insisted that he knew the truth. He seems to be more catholic than the Pope. Mr Speaker, I would respectfully want to appeal to the Hon Minority Leader because the right and the decision to decide --
Hon Member, are you walking on the path of point of correction or on a point of order? Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover: Mr Speaker, I only wanted to draw the attention of the Hon Minority Leader with the admonition shared with us by the Hon Member of Parliament for the area. Mr Speaker, with all respect, when did decisions that have not been respected start? They were in Government and what did they do to those decisions? [Interruption.] We should be careful so that it does not ignite any problem for us.
Mr Speaker, in concluding, another fact I would put across so that it is interrogated in order that we find a solution to this problem is burial of the Nakpa-Naa. Whether he should be buried in Bimbilla or Nakpaa is the source of the problem. [Interruption.] -- I have not said that I have the answer. Mr Speaker, if you knew the cultures, Nakpa-Naa means, “a title to Nakpaa”. So, the conflict is where he would be buried -- whether in Bimbilla or Nakpaa. That
is why since 2014, he has not been buried. This is because one of the Gates is resisting the burial at Bimbilla against the other Gates who say that it should be done at Nakpaa -- [Interruption] -- I am sharing facts and what one does with the fact is one's decision.
Mr Speaker, finally, when they are deploring, Dagbon, Yendi and Bawku must all be on red alert. What we expect is responsibility from Government that law and order would be maintained, safeguard properties and enforce the law. Nothing more. That is our expectation from Government on all these. But in areas where they have picked up early warnings -- I have read the security briefing and yesterday, I listened to the brilliant lecture of Prof. Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu on Ghana and she shared some positions. Mr Speaker, your colleague at University of Ghana (Legon). We must respect some other contributions to resolve this. Mr Speaker, I would want to tell the Hon Minister to be assured because we would support him and his team at National Security to deal with it. Mr Speaker, with the example I gave, even when the issue in Gushegu happened, I recall I was in the helicopter with then Dr Amoo-Ghartey, Hon Kan- Dapaah and others, so, these flash points are known. What I have said is that, we should put our eyes on Yendi and Bimbilla, so that tomorrow we would not be told that there would be no loss of lives after there are loss of lives. We have counted 15, we have counted 10 now -- but justice must be seen to be done and the perpetrators must be seen hauled to court and prosecuted. That would end the impunity. But whatever it takes on the quiet to assist the Hon Minister, I promise we would do. I have sought to do this to provoke his attention to get the material facts that would get him into getting into a decision. Peace Council or whichever structure cannot deal with it, if they cannot deal with the truth, because the parties would not cooperate. Hon (Alhaji) Boniface would share his experience in Dagbon when he came in. Initially, he had his ideas but later on we gave him and Mr Francis Poku the adequate briefing to understand the issues. Mr Speaker, I know what I have talked about. I am from that region and therefore, we must work together to get these conflicts in a preemptive manner, not waiting until deaths and we would come and pontificate and bemoan and say it would not happen again. No! Bawku and Yendi should have red alerts. There are other areas within the Buipe and Gonja areas, Makpon and Buipe which is sitting on a time bomb. Mr Speaker, I associate myself with the Statement and associate with his road map. But the road map must be dealt with in accordance with a commitment to end the impunity.
I would give the Hon Minister for the Interior a brief opportunity to wind up and then the Hon Majority Leader would conclude.
Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to make brief comments on the Statement relating to the Bimbilla situation as delivered by the Hon Minister for the Interior. Mr Speaker, let me begin by commending the Hon Minister for the Statement; for briefing the House, and the entire country through us, about the situation in the Bimbilla area, relating to the chieftaincy institution and what tragic events have unfolded. Mr Speaker, I must commend the Hon Minister for also acting timeously in the aftermath of that tragedy. One shudders to think about what events would have further played out if they had not visited with such speed. Mr Speaker, chieftaincy is supposed to be the representation, and indeed, our chiefs are supposed to be the embodiments and custodians of the traditions and cultural practices of the communities where they superintend. Mr Speaker, generally speaking, Ghanaians are peace-loving, well- behaved, well-cultured and well- mannered. These are the traits that the chiefs are supposed to embody, and indeed, represent. It is sad to relate that most of the sparkles of conflicts that we witness every now and then in the country evolve around chieftaincy institutions. Usually, they would relate to succession or struggles over parcels of land. These are the two main reasons why chieftaincy, as an institution, is in recent times, sparking conflicts in the Ghanaian society. Mr Speaker, the unhappy observation made by the Hon Minister is worth commenting on — 10 people dead, six of them women, one man and three children, and 21 houses burnt down. Of course, the effect would be insecurity-- food security, education, and health. I would want to reflect on the absence of a Regional Minister and a District Chief Executive at the time. Mr Speaker, the Constitution provides in article 256 (1), and with your permission, I beg to quote: “1) The President shall, with the prior approval of Parliament, appoint for each region, a Minister of State who shall — a) represent the President in the region; and b) be responsible for the co- ordination and direction of the administrative machinery in the region.”
Mr Speaker, the Regional Minister is the Chairperson or Presiding Member of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), just as the District Chief Executive is also in charge of the District Security Council (DISEC).
Order! Hon Majority Leader, you may continue.
Mr Speaker, I just wanted to draw our attention, that in Parliament, unless an Hon Member is exiting, he or she does not turn his or her back to the Rt Hon Speaker. I believe these things should be part of the orientation that we provide to Hon Members of Parliament. Mr Speaker, I would want to draw our attention to the absence of these two personalities at the time when the incident blew out. Mr Speaker, I do not intend to go into the processes of adjudicating the matter before the court. My worry is the observation that, when the Hon Member for Bimbilla was nominated at that time for the position of Minister for Defence — we had chiefs from the two Gates following him. I believe the assurance that he gave was that, to the extent that they had followed him to the vetting, to that same extent did he believe that from then, peace could be guaranteed in the Bimbilla enclave. Unfortunately, not more than two to three days after they went back, the conflict blew out again. That, in my view, is a tragedy. Mr Speaker, as I said, I do not want to go into the issues involving chieftaincy at the place, even though as the Hon Minister himself has attested to, the antecedents of this conflict find expression in chieftaincy. Mr Speaker, I do not want to go into it because I know what happened in this House when the Yendi crisis came up and the unfortunate statements that were made on the floor of this House exacerbated the conflicts. We should resist the temptation to travel that path in spite of ourselves. Mr Speaker, it is not for nothing that matters relating to national security are not discussed in open plenary. We may have relevant information that we may want to share with the Hon Minister for the Interior or even the Hon Minister for National Security. But one does not ventilate it on the floor of the House, to the extent that, what one knows, truthful as it may be, may hurt some feelings and result in the inflammation of passions and further exacerbate the conflict. So, it is not all that we know that we give vent to, especially on the floor of this House. Mr Speaker, that is why I would plead with Hon Colleagues — the Hon Minority Leader seems to be very passionate about what he knows. I would plead with him, that we do not ventilate everything on the floor of the House, especially when they relate to certain sensitive institutions. Mr Speaker, I would urge the Hon Minister, with the roadmap that he has given; if anybody has any information that Mr Speaker, I would disregard the Hon Minority Leader; he is baiting me to go on the same path. I resist that bait. Mr Speaker, as I said, all of us should encourage the Hon Minister responsible for the Interior and especially Hon Members hailing from contiguous places who may have some useful information to share, they are at liberty to pass on such information to the three Ministers; the Minister for Defence, the Minister for the Interior who is in charge and the Minister for National Security. This is because it is more or less a national security matter. Thank you.
Hon Members, the second Statement stands in the name of Hon Isaac Asiamah, Member for Atwima-Mponua and Minister for Youth and Sports. Tribute to three former coaches of our National Football Teams on their demise
Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity. Mr Speaker, in a spate of five months, Ghana has witnessed the sudden demise of three (3) of our National sports heroes who have served our country with admirable dedication and patriotism and in the process won a lot of sporting laurels for our dear nation. Mr Speaker, these people were the crème de la crème of our national coaches. They were the best of the best. These fallen legends are: 1. Late Frederick Osam Duodu 2. Late Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie 3. Late Sam Arday Frederick Osam Duodu (1938-2016) Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 4th October 2016, Mr Frederick Osam Duodu passed on at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness. The late Osam Duodu's contribution to Ghana football is legendary and deserves great commendations. As a coach, he had stints with the senior national team, the Black Stars at various periods from 1978 -1981; 1988- 1989 and also in 2002. Having won the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil, Ghana, he went on to win gold with the Black Satellites at the Africa U-20 championships in Mauritius, in1993 as well as a silver medal at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia. Mr Speaker, as a matter of fact, Osam Duodu is the only coach to have won all the three main CAF national teams competitions. These are the CAF Africa Cup of Nations with the Black Stars, the CAF U-20 Championships with the Black
Satellites and the CAF U-17 championship as a coach of The Gambian U-17 national team in 2005. Coach Osam Duodu also acted as the Technical Director and General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association and was also the President of the National Football Coaches Association. He was also a CAF and FIFA Instructor. Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for Saturday, 25th February, 2017 at his hometown, Agona Nyakrom in the Central Region. Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie (1943-2016) Mr Speaker, Coach Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie who is popularly known as Coach- hene, is the only coach who has had the opportunity to handle all levels of the Ghana national football teams. He is also credited to have taken Ghana to four (4) different levels of world championships; winning one gold (1) with the Black Starlets in 1991 as an assistant coach and two (2) silver medals with the Black Satellites at Argentina in 2001 and the Black Starlets in 1997. Coach-hene is famed to have also qualified the Senior Women's national football team (Black Queens) to their first World Cup in USA in 1999. Coach Afranie's remarkable knowledge of the game saw him unearthing talents such as Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, John Mensah, John Paintsil, Derrick Boateng, and the likes who went on to form the key part of the Black Stars team that qualified Ghana to its first World Cup in Germany in 2006. Mr Speaker, Coach E. K. Afranie also handled almost all the top football clubs at one point or another during his coaching career. He indeed, won the Ghana Premier League with Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak. As a Chief Soccer Coach at the National Sports Council now called National Sports Authority, Coach-hene's belief in giving back to his country was superb, and this saw him initiating programmes to train retired footballers across the country. It was through these coaching clinics that participating coaches conferred on him the title ‘Coach hene' (King of Coaches) for the impressive coaching programmes he organised for them. The late E. K Afranie's funeral has been scheduled for Saturday, 25th February, 2017 at the Heroes Park, Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Amakom Kumasi Sam Arday (1945-2017) Mr Speaker, Coach Sam Arday who was well known as the “multi-system man” was the Technical Director of Ghana Premier League side West Africa Football Academy' (WAFA) until his demise. He was the coach of Ghana's Olympic Soccer Bronze Medal winning team at Barcelona '92, a feat which made Ghana the first African country to win an Olympic medal in football. He then became head coach of the Ghana national Under-17 football team, the Black Starlets, that won the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship trophy in Ecuador and the African Under-17 Championship in Mali in 1995. He also coached the national Under- 20 football team and various club sides including Ashgold, Asante Kotoko and Feyenoord. He was the coach of the Black Stars from 1996 to 1997, and again in 2004. The funeral arrangement of the late Sam Arday is yet to be fixed. Mr Speaker, Government would offer the necessary assistance for their burial ceremonies. We would want to express our condolences to the bereaved families. May their souls and the souls of other sports heroes and heroines rest in perfect peace.
Hon Members, we have very limited time. In fact, we have exhausted 55 minutes of the 60 minutes of Statements time and I would respectfully invite you to be very brief in your comments. I would take two Hon Members from each side of the House.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Hon Minister who made the Statement for the excellent way he has eulogised our fallen heroes. Mr Speaker, there is a saying that a nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for. But it is also equally important that when these heroes are alive, we should see to their welfare. Mr Speaker, it is an open secret that some of these coaches we are eulogising today, during their lifetime, had difficulties. They are not here to bring out all those difficulties that they encountered. Today, they are no longer there, and beyond feasting our heroes during Republic Days once in a year, what next? Sometimes, when these heroes are on retirement, they find it difficult to have funds to buy the basic necessities like the normal body painkillers. Yet the amount of money that would be spent on the day of the funeral is so huge. We have come to a time where we need to honour those we need to honour when they are alive. Mr Speaker, I believe that the Hon Minister who made the Statement, the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports was right on point by meticulously identifying all those things that these our fallen heroes have done for this country. What did we do for them when they were alive? I believe that during their funerals, we would say a whole lot of things. Going forward, I would want this House and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to institute some kind of insurance for them beyond their private personal insurance. We should have a system of setting some budgetary allocation for them as a welfare package, so that when they are on retirement, we would see to their needs. Mr Speaker, while we sympathise with the bereaved family, we should also remind ourselves as a House, that for how long can we always come here to lament over our Hon Colleagues and those who have done something for this country and thereafter, it has been business as usual? It is not uncommon to see some of us sometimes, even promise the widow, children and all those our departed colleagues may have left behind. We promise them when we attend their funerals. We say all sorts of things that we would do to the families who have been left behind, only for us to renege on our promises. Mr Speaker, this is bad. If the dead were to be alive and we stand in the midst of a gathering or sometimes, before the pulpit and promise the children and we fail to honour -- Mr Speaker, while I comment on this Statement, may I use the occasion to appeal to the public and all those who promise during periods of emotional stress but failed to honour them, especially to the widows and the children, to redeem their promises. I beseech them and all of us here never to make promises we know we would not fulfil. We do so just to raise the hope of such bereaved families. Mr Speaker, having said that, it is equally important for the Government to look at all those things that the people did while they were alive and ensure that during the Republic Day celebrations, as part of the packages to be announced for the aged, the Government sees to it and give some small packages to the children of those departed colleagues. Mr Speaker, on that note, I thank the Hon Minister who made the Statement. I believe and hope that once he has taken the mantle of the leadership of the Ministry, some of these things we have discussed here --as he sits here -- he would take them on board. This is to ensure that, at least, something is done to those of our colleagues who are alive today rather than to wait and eulogise them. Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye (NDC - - Odododiodioo): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity given me to contribute to the wonderful Statement made by my successor, the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports. It is really important at this moment that we recognise the fact that it is not only in football but various Ghanaians in other endeavours of sports and disciplines have contributed meaningfully to the enhancement of the image and glory of this country. Mr Speaker, settling down on the three departed senior colleagues of ours, I am grateful that by the grace of God Almighty, I had the opportunity to work with them in close quarters as the then [NII LANTEY VANDERPUYE] [NII LANTEY VANDERPUYE] General Secretary of the National Chapters Committee of Accra Hearts of Oak. All the three coaches had a stint with Accra Hearts of Oak Football Club. Two of them also had stints with Asante Kotoko Football Club. They are possibly and undoubtedly the two most glamorous clubs in the country. They contributed immensely to the development of young talents in this country. Special mention could be made of Coach Sam Arday in 1986 and 1987 when he assembled one of the finest teams ever for the Black Satellites of Ghana -- players like Mr Isaac Kwakye, Mr Thomas Boakye, Mr Frank Amankwah and Mr Kwame Poku. These talented young men really played their hearts out at various levels for the development of this country. Mr Speaker, all of them have achieved successes which the Hon Minister ably mentioned. It is noteworthy that all our international successes at various levels of football in this country were achieved through the instrumentality and the effort of our local coaches. Two years ago, we lost Coach C. K. Gyamfi, who was followed by Coach Jones Attuquayefio. If we put these five together -- the three mentioned today and the two who went before them -- they embodied Ghana's total achievement in football from the national to the global level. That tells us that there is something in our local coaches we can build on. Mr Speaker, I also share in the sentiments of the last Hon Member who contributed to this Statement, Hon Agyekum, that we need to take care of the welfare of our senior colleagues and national heroes. As we talk today, I would not be surprised, God forbid, if the Hon Minister comes back tomorrow to tell us that we have lost another. This is because, the situation of Coach John Eshun, Alhaji Doodo Ankrah, Coach Amadu Akuse, Coach Kwasi Owusu and others are not something to be enthused about. Sometimes, taking care of their medical bills is a problem. Mr Speaker, I note that former President John Agyekum Kufuor initiated a policy outline to support these group of former national heroes time on. Then former Presidents John Atta Mills and John Mahama also built on it and even paid moneys. Each of the winners of the past four Cup of Nations received not less than GH¢100,000. Mr Speaker, but we need to do more. That would also act as an incentive and motivation to our players who always want to go outside because they think that if they continue playing in this country, at the end of their career, they would not have anything to take care of themselves. Mr Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that we mourn such three wonderful personalities. Mr Speaker, they were not just coaches. They were fathers to the players they coached. When we talk to the players, we would be told. They managed the players, visited them in their homes and became almost like godfathers to them. Mr Speaker, it is no wonder that when Coach Afranie even left active coaching at the national level, the then Hon Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon Enoch Teye Mensah, found it worthy to appoint him as a Technical Director at the Ministry. All these people have contributed immensely and that is why I would encourage the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports to let us look at this dispassionately as a national issue devoid of politics, on how we can evolve a system whereby our past national heroes, not only in football, but in athletics, boxing and other disciplines, can be honoured in their life time and not only come to talk about their death. Mr Speaker, with these comments, I would want to thank you for the opportunity and also to thank the Hon Minister who made the Statement.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, my greatest thanks for the opportunity to say a few words. The Statement is about the demise of coaches Osam Duodu, Afranie and Sam Arday. Mr Speaker, as has been said by the immediate past Hon Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon Nii Lantey Vandepuye, these three together with C. K. Gyamfi and Jones Attuquayefio by any measure would qualify as the best football tacticians that this nation has produced. Mr Speaker, that is why we must, on the occasion of their transition, express our deepest felt condolences to the immediate families and all stakeholders in the sporting fraternity. Mr Speaker, these were not mere coaches. The five of them, C. K. Gyamfi, Jones Attuquayefio, Osam Duodu, AkwasiAfranie and Sam Arday were talent spotters. As the Nigerians would say, many of them were sweat merchants in the sense that many of them were sports coaches themselves, physical trainers and then they became football coaches. So, they combined their own antecedents with their new profession that they assumed -- coaching football teams. So, they combined the physical development of our players with the infusion of their own technical and tactical competences. They were team managers and player managers at the same time. They took these players on as if they were their own children or nephews. Wherever these coaches went to, they left their foot marks in any team that they handled, be it club football or any of the national teams. The trademarks were similar. You could see a team playing as a collective and playing for one another. You could see the smooth, harmonious, melodious and free flowing football exhibited by the teams that they handled. They were arrow- headed by sharp shooting and not what we are seeing lately. Mr Speaker, the Hon Member mentioned in particular the spotting by Sam Addy of Thomas Boakye, Frank Amankwah, Isaac Boakye, Joe Debrah, Shamo Quaye, Robert Eshun and Ablade Kumah of yesteryears. Mr Speaker, these were the people whom they spotted and brought into the national teams and we could see the ball-play, the technical competencies and the tactical abilities of these players; but it is not so any longer. Mr Speaker, they sacrificed for the country. When Coach Afranie was handling the national team and was given the equivalent of US$300, when Burkhard Ziese came, he was given US$5,000. A national team coach was making do with the equivalent of US$300, and Burkhard
Thank you very much. Minority Leadership? Hon Members, we shall take the last Statement save that, there would be one short contribution from each side. Hon Members, the Statement is from Hon Thomas Nyarko Ampem, Hon Member for Asuogyaman, on the state of Human Trafficking in Ghana. Hon Members, the Statement is from Hon Thomas Nyarko Ampem, Member for Asuogyaman, on the state of Human Trafficking in Ghana. State of human trafficking in Ghana
Mr Speaker, on January 24th, 2017, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with the International Justice Mission, an American Non-Governmental Organi-sation undertook a rescue operation along some fishing communities in the Eastern Region with an objective to rescue victims of human trafficking. In the course of the operation, 24 children between the ages of seven and 17 were rescued and 13 adults were also arrested and are currently assisting the police in investigations . This happened on the Volta Lake from Labolabo through Kudikofe in the Asuogyaman District to Akateng in the Upper Manya District. For the fact that the focus of the operation was on human trafficking, the ages of the children bring to light the seriousness of the problem of child labour in this country. Mr Speaker, what is more worrying is that, children as young as six years are victims of trafficking and/or child labour and are involved in fishing. Some of these child victims looked frail and malnourished and were virtually naked when they were rescued. Mr Speaker, we have also heard of a growing trend of people acting as agents and recruiting young ladies to go and work as househelps in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. Stories of what they go through there are things I cannot say here. According to the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report issued by the United States of America's Department of State, Ghana remains a source, transit, and destination country for men, women and children who are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The Report observes that the exploitation of Ghanaians, especially children within the country is more prevalent than the transnational trafficking of foreign nationals. There is no doubt whatsoever that boys and girls are regularly subjected to forced labour in various ways. Some of these include fishing, domestic service, hawking, pottering, galamsey and agriculture. Girls are sometimes subjected to sex trafficking. Mr Speaker, what is more worrying, according to the Report is that, Ghana has been placed on the “Tier 2 Watch List” by the United States of America for two consecutive years, 2015 and 2016. This is largely because, according to the Report, Ghana has “no demonstrable increase in prosecution efforts or assistance to victims; zero trafficking convictions in 2015; a decrease in the number of victims identified in the past year; inadequate funding and training for law enforcement and prosecutors; inadequate funding for victim protection and support services; insufficiently stringent penalties for trafficking; and reports of increased corruption and bribery in the judicial system, which hindered anti-trafficking measures”. This position of Ghana further threatens the continuous support from development partners to the Government of Ghana. Mr Speaker, my interaction with the accused persons, when I visited them in their police cells to facilitate their bail, revealed to me their level of ignorance
Thank you, Mr Speaker -- [Pause.] Mr Speaker, I would like to yield to my Hon Colleague who is the Minister for the Interior, other than that, he would not give me a very large police presence in my constituency --
Hon Hajia Alima Mahama? I take note of Hon Members who have not made a contribution for a particular day.
Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support the Statement on the floor of the House. Ghana has been battling with human trafficking for decades now. I agree that Ghana remains a source, a trafficking area and also a destination for trafficking; a lot of countries are passing through Ghana with trafficked human persons. It is indeed, a serious situation and we should all endeavour to work in different ways in our communities to support the education and training on human trafficking. Mr Speaker, there are a number of issues that we tend to link up with human trafficking, for example, fishing. In days gone by, children used to go out with their parents for fishing in the high seas as a way of learning the skill. Children went to cocoa farms with their parents as a way of learning the skill. However, we do recognise that our children are exposed all the time to the hazardous acts related to these trades. Mr Speaker, especially when it comes to fishing, children are made to go down right into the deep sea to disentangle fish nets that have been entangled in the grounds with the elements in the sea and sometimes, they are not able to even come up again. This is a very serious situation. Our young girls are trafficked out into various areas in the name of being mobilised as workers; and they are trafficked into sex trade. I had the experience of a young woman calling us from a country that I would not immediately name, seeking aid to come back because she had been deceived to go out there to work, only to be forced into sex trade. This is an area that we all need to educate our communities on. Mr Speaker, it is not enough for Ghana to be kept under tier two ranking all the time, because we have been under tier two ranking for several years now. It is not enough. I would therefore call on all our development partners, who would want to see Ghana move forward in the fight against human trafficking to collaborate with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to ensure that the necessary support, strategies and operational plans are written and adopted and supported with the necessary funding for them to take the necessary steps to bring down this issue of human trafficking in our country. Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has in place, the Human Trafficking Act. The Department of Social Welfare, which is also a department under the same Ministry, has responsibility with the Ministry to implement this Act together with the Anti- Human Trafficking Unit of the Police Service and the Immigration Service. Mr Speaker, we would therefore call on all of them to put their act together, so that next year we do not continue to have these Statements about Ghana being on tier two. As I indicated, it is not just the Ministry working at it, and it is not just Ghana being on tier two. All our development partners have to work and act on the matter. Thank you, Mr Speaker.
Hon Member, do you rise on a point of order?
Are you speaking on a point of correction?
Hon Member, are you making a contribution?
Thank you, for the information.
Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Mr Speaker, I rise to make a comment on my Hon Colleague's Statement. Mr Speaker, I do not believe that we should argue about the tier two issue. Whether we are under the tier two watch or not, the issue for us, I believe, should be the fact that our children are dying; our children are not where they must be at the right time. Mr Speaker, if we go to my own constituency, Chorkor, and come to James Town, or to Elimina and Ada, in each of these communities, our children, when they should be in the classrooms, are not there. That is a matter that should be of concern to all of us. Mr Speaker, it should not take America to have to monitor us and use money, such that we do this because we would lose money. Please, I believe that it should be a matter of concern to us, first as Ghanaians, to want to make sure that we are each other's keeper for our children. Mr Speaker, it is heart-breaking to go to the places that I mentioned and many others, even in our markets throughout this country, or just to walk the streets of our major communities in this country, to see our children who should be in the classrooms and in schools at their prime time missing the classroom for other reasons. Mr Speaker, sometimes we could blame their parents but where is our culture of being each other's keeper to ensure that we take responsibility as a community for the raising and direction of our children so that they can be better citizens when they grow up? Mr Speaker, yes, I agree that we must work and do things, so that, in the eyes of the international community, they would see that we are doing the best for our children. But I believe that we would need to put the appropriate laws in place. Mr Speaker, sometimes, we see children raising children themselves because, we all know about the teenage pregnancy rate in this country. We know that in Accra for example, for several years, so many of our children who should be in school only got four hours of education under the shift system, and they were -- sometimes they did not go to school at all. So for over twenty years, we have had children who raised children, and today, they do not have skills. Mr Speaker, that is why we have our institutions who must safeguard our children, and these institutions are not performing their expectations as set out in their set ups. Mr Speaker, I therefore rise to say that the Police must act, and our Social Welfare Institutions must also sit up because our children are dying every day. Our children are losing out on opportunities, and they would not be there when our country needs them. For me, I believe that this is of uttermost importance. Mr Speaker, I thank you, and with these few words, I support my Hon Colleague's Statement.
Hon Members, a few remarks by Leadership, if available.
Mr Speaker, I am the available Leader. [Laughter.] Mr Speaker, so I would stand up to express a desire to speak, until my Hon Leader takes over because I was not here at the beginning of the Statements, and I would say things that have already being said. Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, my Leader is now in.
Any comment from the Majority Leadership? Otherwise, we would move on to the Commencement of Public Business, item numbered 4 -- Presentation of Papers, by the Hon Majority Leader, and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. This is with respect to the Semi-Annual Report of the Bank of Ghana on the Petroleum Holding Fund and the Ghana Petroleum Funds for the period July 1 -- December 31, 2016. Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Speaker, before I present the Paper, I believe that it is important to make the distinction that when I stand here to present these Papers, I do so as the Hon Majority Leader, and not the Hon Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. Mr Speaker, I guess that distinction must be made. That is why I have insisted that when the Hon Majority Leader comes to play such a role, he should be appropriately described as the Hon Majority Leader and, perhaps, Leader of the House, and not as the Hon Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. That is the distinction that I would want to register. Mr Speaker, having done so, I would now lay the first Paper, that is the Semi- Annual Report of the Bank of Ghana on the Petroleum Holding Funds for July 1 -- December 31, 2016.
Hon Members, we would move on to item numbered 4(ii).
Mr Speaker, I am just wondering whether in the interest of greater transparency in the con- sideration of this Report, we could not join the Committee on Mines and Energy to this, because it is the remit of that Committee to know how much the Finance Committee would deal with the financials only, but the Committee on Mines and Energy would be in a position to advise whether there has been other declarations, and so on and so forth. If, however, the thinking is that it should be left with the Finance Committee, then so be it. Mr Speaker, I get the impression from the Table Office that we leave it with the Finance Committee and, maybe, we rest it.
Hon Majority Leader, if you have any suggestion, make it specifically and let us make progress.
Mr Speaker, the application I was in the process of submitting was that it should be a joint referral, but then I took advice from the cloud on the foreheads of the three officers of the Table Office. It looked the clouds on their forehands were threatening to rain and I took a cue.
Very well. If you took the relevant cue, then shall we continue? We are dealing with item numbered 4 (ii), please.
Mr Speaker, respectfully, the Hon Minority Chief Whip wanted to comment on what I just said. Maybe, it would further enrich taking a decision on the way forward. If I may plead that you hear him for a minute and then we can make progress.
Mr Speaker, I believe that the Hon Minority Chief Whip has just subscribed to the principles that I just espoused and I would believe that would make the joint referral in particular because last year, in approving their budget, they were to have submitted to us their programme of activities. Mr Speaker, they never brought it until after the passage of their budget. Yet, it is supposed to be the guiding principle for this House. When we came to approving their budget, they were not able to submit it to this House. So, the Mines and Energy Committee, having subjected it to intense critique, would be in a better position to advise the Finance Committee whether they have been in compliance with what they set out to do. Mr Speaker, I would plead with you that you do the joint referral and then I would go to the second one, that is, to refer the first Paper jointly to the Finance and Mines and Energy Committees. When you have done so, I will lay the second Paper.
I believe the Annual Report has been presented.
Mr Speaker, I have not done the presentation of the Annual Report of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). I just pleaded that on account of the support that the Hon Minority Chief Whip provided, with respect to the application that I made for a joint referral of item numbered 4 (i), you make a joint referral to the Finance and the Mines and Energy Committee. Then I will present the second Paper after we have finished with this. Referred to the Finance and Mines and Energy Committees.
Item number 4 (ii). By the Hon Majority Leader -- Annual Report of the Commission on Human Rights and Admini- strative Justice for the year 2013
Hon Majority Leader, do you have any suggestion beyond the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, so that we can make one comprehensive directive?
Mr Speaker, it is the Special Budget Committee that handles the budget of CHRAJ but it has some constitutional implications. I do not know whether in this case, you may also want to refer it to a joint Committee of the Special Budget Committee and the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee because CHRAJ is required to report to the Special Budget Committee. That is the Committee that is charged with considering their budgets and also overseeing the activities of CHRAJ and all the constitutional creatures, including the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the National Media Commission (NMC) and others. I think there are four of them. I would think that if a joint referral is made, it would save the situation.
Mr Speaker, the previous practice has been for the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee to look at this Report from CHRAJ? So, all those institutions that were created in the Constitution normally
Mr Speaker, the traditional way of doing things had been for such reports to be referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary
Hon Members, further to our previous meeting, Leadership has confirmed consensus on their no objection to the President's nominations for appointment to the Council of State regarding Lieutenant-General J. B. Dankwa and Nana Owusu Nsia, former Chief of Defence Staff and former Inspector-General of Police respectively. Hon Members, debate on the State of the Nation Address delivered by His Excellency, the President to this Honourable House will commence tomorrow. Please, take note that we shall commence work at 10.00 a. m. prompt as there is a clear business for us to do which does not need any waiting. Hon Members, please, be punctual. Hon Majority Leader, any indication towards closure?
Mr Speaker, I guess we have exhausted the Business for today. Committees are slated to sit, that is, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Mines and Energy and indications are that the other Committee on the allegation against the Hon Chairman and some members of the Appointments Committee will also be sitting, I guess, to write their Report. Mr Speaker, as you have just announced, the debate on the President's Address to us will start tomorrow. Unfortunately, we do not have much time given the fact that next week Thursday, the Budget will be read and in that regard, we are going to start tomorrow and in all likelihood, end the debate on Wednesday for the Budget to be presented on Thursday. That would mean that we have to have as many debaters as possible between tomorrow and Wednesday. We suggested that tomorrow being the first day, and because the pith of the Statement was the state of the economy, maybe, we deal with the economy and possibly, energy tomorrow. The day after, that is Friday, then sectors; agriculture, trade and industry and one other may be taken. So, with that we have agreed to have six contributors from either side. So, in total, we are looking at about twelve contributors for tomorrow and Friday, we continue on Tuesday and bring the curtains down on Wednesday. Mr Speaker, let me also inform Hon Colleagues that we shall have a joint Caucus meeting immediately upon adjournment. Hon Colleagues, it will not last for more than thirty minutes. Having said so, and the time reading 33 minutes after 1.00 o'clock, in the afternoon of today, Mr Speaker, I beg to move, that this House do adjourn and reconvene tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock in the forenoon. But Mr Speaker, before I resume my seat, I think we had agreed to meet tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. prompt to enable the debate to commence in good time and to have as many people as possible participate in the debate. I thank you, Mr Speaker. I so move for the adjournment.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. Question put and Motion agreed to.