Mr Speaker, once again, thank you very much.
I certainly would uphold the Standing Orders and would be decorous as expected in ensuring that I demonstrate respect for Minority rights. But Mr Speaker, I have a right also to question the reasoning of the Minority when in my honest view and opinion, is palpably wrong and legally, is not tenable, to which I refer to article 64(2) of the Constitution.
Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, may I refer you to page 209 of the 1992 Constitution. And for our purposes, I am referring to the Oath of a Member of Parliament and I am particularly interested in the line beginning and I beg to quote:
“I will uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
Mr Speaker, emphasis mine.
“. . . And that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of a Member of Parliament.”
My honest view is that the Minority is failing the good people of Ghana in participating in this important shared responsibility. Mr Speaker, may I paraphrase and borrow the words of Justice Ampiah and Hayfron Benjamin in the lucid case of J. H. Mensah versus Attorney-General. They said prior approval is not a term of art required, that you must get the consent of the authority, which authority refers to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
Therefore, a nomination from the Executive must necessarily have the consent of this august House, which they are a part of, and they are running away from that shared obligation to discharge their duties conscientiously.
Mr Speaker, arguments we have heard publicly are to the effect that there is a matter pending before the Supreme Court and the decision will affect some actions or inactions. Mr Speaker, I beg to say, only for want of words, I will refrain from using, that they are even in contempt of the Court and their action is an affront to justice in this country, that they think and reason that the Supreme Court can only rule in one way in their favour and to their satisfaction.
That is not a person seeking justice; you must be open. The opportunity is that, the Supreme Court may or may not uphold the values of justice their wish or what they are crying for. But whatever it is, article 64 teaches us a lesson that any actions done -- and Mr Speaker, in this House, there are very brilliant Hon Members from the Minority. Why? Transitional Provisions and Savings
clauses. My Friend “Asparo” as he is known somewhere -- Hon Asamoah Ofosu knows that we always have saved issues in terms of actions that have been purportedly done with authority or without authority under that Act.
Mr Speaker, the Minority has abandoned a critical national assignment, which allows this august House to participate in an important national exercise for the scrutiny of persons nominated by His Excellency the President to play roles as Ministers of State or Deputy Ministers of State. But they are entitled to it, to abandon the ship half way, because of their legally and palpable wrong argument, because they are in the Supreme Court questioning the legitimacy of His Excellency the President.
As far as we are concerned, Ghana has gone through peaceful, transparent elections, hailed by the international community as one of the best -- [Uproar.] I have read reports of the European Union and the Commonwealth and I am satisfied to be a Ghanaian, that we have a legitimate President, duly elected, duly sworn in.
Mr Speaker, with or without their participation, the wheels of Government will run and will run effectively. [Uproar.] But they must come and assist us discharge this onerous responsibility. This is because His Excellency the President does not run with angels, he runs with human beings and they would have held a critical assessment.
Mr Speaker, let me quote this in my conclusion. In the ruling of J. H. Mensah versus Attorney-General, Justice Ampiah used these words, that “. . . to assess whether the candidate so nominated was good, was satisfactory or unacceptable.”
That is the obligation the Majority is running away from and they owe the Ghanaian people an explanation.
Mr Speaker, may I now conclude by saying that, I have faith and confidence in the men and women who have been named, whether it is Alhaji Collins Dauda who assures us of better housing ahead or it is Hon Hannah Tetteh, who assures us of good neighbourliness or whether it is Alhaji Sulemani, who jokingly said that contracts are not shared like groundnuts, they are capable men and women who will assist His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama to advance his “Better Ghana Agenda.”