Debates of 22 Feb 2017

PRAYERS 11 a.m.


Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 17th
February, 2017.
Page 1, 2, 3…11 --
Mr Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Majority Leader?
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
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.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Chief Whip?
Alhaji Muntaka 11:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.
I agree with the Hon Majority Leader on one principle. We have to find a way of capturing Hon Members who have been in the House.
Mr Speaker, as part of the investment that was done to improve this Chamber are the gadgets before us to enable us to register biometrically when we are in the Chamber.
Mr Speaker, there was this gadget that was attached to it on the test and it has passed. With it, every morning, an Hon Member comes and uses his bio, it will record straight into the system.
Mr Speaker, it is more accurate. This is because, one of the reasons issue of keeping the register at the Mails Room was not used as evidence of an Hon Member being here was that -- with the greatest respect -- an Hon Member can just send someone to write his name and sign. If it will be biometric, as these gadgets will support, it will affirm that apart from an Hon Member just being in the House, he or she was also in the Chamber.
Mr Speaker, the register records those who have come into the Chamber and not those who have come into the precincts of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, whereas I agree with him, I think that a more scientific way to do it is for us to complete the process, so that these gadgets before us will be put to the maximum use where our fingerprints will be the basis of registering that we are in the Chamber.
Mr Speaker, when we check with the Information Technology (IT) people, it is not expensive at all. All of us could have it and use it. That will settle this argument once and for all. I think that we need to pursue that line.
I agree with him that we need to find a formal way of making sure that we know who is in the Chamber and who has not been in Parliament.
Thank you very , Mr Speaker.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
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.
Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
Mr Haruna Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
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.
Mr Speaker 11:10 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.]
  • rose
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Yes, Hon Member?
    Mr Ntow 11:10 a.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
    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.
    ANNOUNCEMENTS 11:10 a.m.

    Mr Speaker 11:10 a.m.
    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.
    STATEMENTS 11:10 a.m.

    Minister for the Interior (Mr Ambrose Dery) 11:10 a.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to make a Statement on the very important matter of the Bimbilla situation in the Northern Region of Ghana.


    Mr Speaker, I believe it would facilitate an appreciation of the Bimbilla situation to put it in the context of some relevant antecedents.

    The late Bimbilla Naa, Naa Abarika died in 2001. Since the performance of the funeral of the late Naa Abarika in 2003, the Bimbilla skin has been in crisis, which has festered and resulted in a number of clashes, violence and the loss of lives over the period.

    The Bimbilla skin, a paramount skin has two (2) Gate skins which ascend on a rotational basis, to the Bimbilla skin; the Gbimayili gate and the Bangyili gate. The late Naa Abarika was of the Bangyili gate and thus on his death, it was the turn of Gbimayili gate to ascend the skin.

    Regrettably, an intra-gate mis- understanding ensued in the Gbimayili gate in the pursuit of getting a successor to the Bimbilla skin between the late Naa Andani Dasana and the late Naa Salifu Dawuni (Nakpa Naa). The misunder- standing was exacerbated by the support of majority of the people of the Bangyili gate, that is, the Vonaa, for the Nakpa Naa family.

    The resultant cause of action has gone from the Judicial Committee of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs, through the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs and as I speak, now pending in the Supreme Court of Ghana.

    Meanwhile, the two protagonists, namely, the late Naa Salifu Dawuni and the late Naa Andani Dasana have both passed on respectively. Nakpa Naa Salifu Dawuni passed on naturally on 5th March 2014, but has not yet been buried due to controversy over the status of burial and

    related matters. The late Naa Andani Dasana, however, died as a victim of an attack on his palace, with three (3) elders on June 19, 2014.

    A curfew was imposed on Bimbilla and its environs immediately after the death of Naa Andani Dasana, precisely on 7th

    March, 2014 to contain the resultant tension after the death of the late Naa Salifu Dawuni and has since been in place, albeit renewed and reviewed from time to time.

    Mr Speaker, Bimbilla has suffered eruptions of violence notwithstanding. Some of these violent eruptions have caused loss of lives as the death of the late Naa Andani Dasana and three (3) elders on 19th June, 2014 and the death of thirteen (13) persons on 9th June, 2015 in a misunderstanding involving butchers in purported matter of obligations to the regent.

    The latest spate of violence

    Mr Speaker, regrettably, 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 of adversely affecting the peace of Bimbilla and its environs.

    The deliberation on the said intelligence information by REGSEC, Tamale, culminated in a directive to the DISEC of the Nanumba North to persuade the Regent of Bimbilla to delay/postpone the enskinment, notice of which had been given to DISEC per a letter dated 2nd

    February, 2017, and fixed for 9th February 2017, to enable REGSEC put in place necessary security re-inforcement to contain any possible security threats.

    REGSEC in its request to DISEC noted that the date for the enskinment on 9th

    February 2017, which was just the next day, was too close to discuss the issues arising thoroughly and to deploy the needed security reinforcement for the proposed enskinment in view of the report that had been received. REGSEC futher requested that a transitional period be by way of postponement for deployment of more security personnel.

    The Nanumba North DISEC met, appreciated the threat and agreed to engage the Regent to defer the planned enskinment.

    The discussion between DISEC and the Regent was intense and drawn out as late as 3.00 a.m. on 9th February, 2017. The REGSEC, through the Regional Police Commander, had, in fact, corroborated the position of DISEC but failed to dissuade the Regent to defer the planned enskinment.

    Later, on the morning of 9th February, 2017 while the security agencies were in a precautionary move to send reinforcement from Yendi to Bimbilla, the Nanumba North DISEC reported that the Regent had, in fact, performed the enskinment ahead, of the scheduled 3.00 p.m. and tension was getting out of hand. DISEC then requested that the curfew be extended. The curfew at that time was from 8.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. So, it had to pass through to REGSEC.

    REGSEC duly considered the request for extension of the curfew and recommended same to the Ministry of the Interior. However, before, REGSEC communicated its recommendation to the Ministry of the Interior, it received reports of sporadic firing of gun shots and the discovering of two (2) bodies. As a result, they communicated and the curfew was extended, this time, from 4.00 p. m. to
    Minister for the Interior (Mr Ambrose Dery) 11:10 a.m.

    6.00am imposed immediately by the Minister for the Interior to stem the escalation of violence and loss of lives.

    Mr Speaker, 10th February, 2017, when REGSEC met to review the situation in Bimbilla, it was reported that seven (7) more bodies were found. The death of an injured person sent from Bimbilla to the Tamale Teaching Hospital raised the death toll to ten (10), namely six (6) women, one (1) man and three (3) children, all aged 4 years.

    Mr Speaker, eleven (11) persons were reported injured, and seventeen (17) persons were arrested, twenty-one (21) houses were burnt and damaged.

    Further re-inforcement -- very important lives of people

    Further re-inforcement was sent by the Police and the Military on 10th February, 2017. By 14th February, 2017, two hundred and ten (210) police personnel, sixty-nine (69) military personnel and thirteen (13) investigators were deployed to keep the peace and also to investigate for the pepetrators to be brought to book.

    Position of the Government of Ghana

    Mr Speaker, it is clear, at this juncture, to make a note of the position of Government on this matter. There are two (2) strands/aspects of the Bimbilla situation, namely: matters affecting chieftaincy and matters of peace, security and safety.

    Mr Speaker, to the extent that it is a chieftaincy matter, Government is not going to interfere. However, we leave that

    to the remit of the traditional authorities, the Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs, the Judicial Committee of the National Houses of Chiefs and the Supreme Court of Ghana.

    11. 40 a.m.

    The Bimbilla Chieftaincy matter has gone from the Judicial Committee of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs, through the Judicial Committee of the National House of Chiefs and is now before the Supreme Court. Period!

    Government, however, would not shirk its responsibility to ensure peace, security and safety of all persons in Ghana. Government, in consonance with the said responsibility, is committed to achieving peace in Bimbilla and its environs. Furthermore, Government is also committed to the security and safety of each person in Bimbilla and its environs.

    In pursuit of peace in Bimbilla and its environs, Government has deployed police and military personnel. The team of investigators and operatives are on the ground working to find the perpetrators of the recent violence, the resultant loss of lives and damage to property. As at today, three (3) suspects have been identified and are in the custody of the Police to assist further investigations.

    In respect of security and safety of each person in the Bimbilla area, the security personnel on the ground have been tasked to protect each person and also the homes of key stakeholders on both sides of the chieftaincy divide. Accordingly, the homes of key stakeholders such as the Regent, Nakpa- na, Vonaa and Kpatihinaa are each protected by a combined team of police and the military.


    To achieve the peace, security and safety of Bimbilla and its inhabitants, some challenges must be confronted. Some of these are impunity, inter institutional collaboration/coordination, logistical demands and outstanding security issues.

    Impunity stems from the fact that not a single person has been held responsible nor sanctioned for the series of attacks and the resultant loss of lives from previous eruptions.

    We must hold the culprits responsible and duly sanction to serve as a deterrent to future recurrence.

    REGSEC and DISEC have been instructed to work more proactively together. Bimbilla has no resident magistrate and so the District Court is dormant with consequences for the smooth enforcement of peace, security and safety. A resident magistrate could also facilitate ongoing investigations.

    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.

    The Northern Regional Peace Council is working hard to achieve peace. The fact that the corpse of the late Naa Salifu Dawuni is not yet buried, is an outstanding issue.

    Visit of Government delegation to Bimbilla 14th February, 2017

    On 14th February, 2017, I was privileged to lead a powerful delegation

    to Bimbilla with a message from the President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo and to assess at first hand the situation on the ground.

    The Government delegation was composed as follows:

    Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery

    Minister of Defence, Hon Dominic Nitiwul

    Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon Otiko Afisah Djaba

    The Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, other top Police and Military Officers from Headquarters and the Northern Regional Commands, as well as officials of the stakeholder Ministries

    The District Police and other Security Commands in Bimbilla as well as officials from the Regional and District security councils.

    The highlights of the Message of H.E. the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo are stated below:

    To the extent that it is a matter of chieftaincy, the Government would not interfere. Thus, the process should go through the established chieftaincy institutions at the various judicial committees of the Regional and National Houses of Chiefs and the Supreme Court

    However, the Government would not shirk its basic responsibility of ensuring the safety of life and property in the area

    Indeed, the Government would ensure that appropriate measures are implemented to promote social
    Minister for the Interior (Mr Ambrose Dery) 11:10 a.m.

    and economic activities of the people of Bimbilla and its environs in a safe and secure environment

    Government views the killings as senseless/criminal and would do everything in its power to bring the perpetrators to book. The President extends his condolences to the bereaved families

    The Government is neutral in all these matters as it does not support any faction in this dispute

    The only interest of Government is to ensure peace and security in the area

    The regrettable death of the ten (10) persons should be the last and Government would not want a repeat of the same in subsequent years.

    The delegation visited the homes of key stakeholders, found them protected as instructed and discussed with them the President's Message. The homes of the Regent, Nakpa Naa, Vonaa and Kpatihi Naa were visited among others.

    The delegation was satisfied that the situation had improved. Subsequently, the curfew has been duly reviewed from 6.00 p. m. to 6.00 a.m.

    The way forward

    The National Peace Council must lead the negotiation through alternative dispute resolution methods to ensure lasting peace.

    Mr Speaker, I wish to assure you that the Government shall continue to monitor the situation and ensure that the situation

    does not deteriorate and affect others in the vicinity.

    Security is a collective responsibility and I call on all persons/stakeholders to work with Government to achieve peace, security and safety for the benefit of all in Bimbilla.
    Mr Speaker 11:50 a.m.
    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.
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 11:50 a.m.
    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
    Minority Leader (Mr Haruna Iddrisu) 11:50 a.m.

    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.
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu noon
    If Mr Speaker welcomes you, that is all right. But I am contributing to the Statement.
    Mr Speaker, the number of deaths --
    Mr Speaker noon
    Yes, Hon Minister for Defence?
    Mr Nitiwul noon
    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
    Mr Speaker noon
    Yes, Hon Minority Leader?
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu noon
    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 --
    Mr Speaker noon
    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 Haruna Iddrisu noon
    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
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu noon

    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 noon
    Mr Haruna Iddrisu noon
    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.
    Mr Speaker noon
    I would give the Hon Minister for the Interior a brief opportunity to wind up and then the Hon Majority Leader would conclude.
    Mr Ambrose Dery noon
    Mr Speaker, I would want to emphasise as I said in the report that, we are only restricted to the security. I said that it was pending before the Supreme Court and when there is a decision by the Houses of Chiefs and
    there is an appeal, it operates as a stay. Now, the matter is sub-judice and we should not go into those details at all because it is against the law to do so.
    All I am saying is, we are dealing with a security challenge which existed and persisted in 2014, four people died, persisted in 2015 and 13 people died. I want my Hon Colleagues on both sides of the House to help us see how we can stop this. But let us stay out of the chieftaincy and leave it to the Supreme Court to decide. When it is decided, the lawyers know how to enforce their judgement. That is not for us.
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:10 p.m.
    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.”
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:10 p.m.

    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

    Mr Speaker 12:10 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, you may continue.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 12:10 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    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
    Minister for Youth and Sports (Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah) (MP) 12:20 p.m.
    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
    Minister for Youth and Sports (Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah) (MP) 12:20 p.m.

    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.
    Mr Speaker 12:20 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome (NDC -- South Tongu) 12:30 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Statement just made by the Hon Minister for Youth and Sports.
    Mr Speaker, Coach Osam Duodu was well known to be one of the best coaches this country has ever had. His association with the national teams and the laurels that he was able to help these teams to chalk for this country leave so much in our minds. In 1978, for instance, he led the national team to win the Africa Cup of Nations for this country and that happened here in Ghana. We would always remember him for that wonderful achievement.
    He went on to work with this national team in 1981, 1988, 1989 as well as 2002.
    Mr Speaker, his association with the Under-20 and the Under-17 national teams is also something to talk about. Of course, we saw the success story associated with those teams at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) tournaments. Of course, his hard work earned him various positions and accolades from the various teams and many of the players.
    Former and retired footballers who have had some working relationships with him have always poured out how affable and easy it is to work with him and how loving he was. Key to that, they knew him to be a family man.
    Mr Speaker, he went on to definitely become one of the best instructors associated with the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and he had done so well, so far as records with this international body are concerned. We would always remember him.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    Mr Speaker, Emmanuel Kwesi Afranie is one of the great coaches we have had in this country. Also known as “coach- hene” as alluded to by the Hon Minister who made the Statement, he had paid his due. He had done so much for this country and had, of course, served at the various levels of the Ghana national football teams.
    He, as an assistant coach in 1991 for the Black Starlets, won for this country per his association with the national teams, the gold medal; a silver medal in 2001 and in 1997 won medals for both the Black Satellites and the Black Starlets in Argentina. These are some of the things to really talk about, so far as his achievements are concerned.
    The coaching he did to support the women in 1999 in the USA actually
    Mr Kobena Mensah Woyome (NDC -- South Tongu) 12:30 p.m.

    brought to the fore women football for many of us to appreciate the good work of our sisters to the extent that the team got to the quarter final stage and made all of us proud at that time.

    In fact, having listened to some of the current stars like Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and others, one would notice that they have all been very happy with his work and mentorship in making sure that he found them as players. They would always owe him some gratitude for the support and encouragement that he had always given them throughout their career and currently playing in their many successes wherever they are.

    Mr Speaker, in fact, it is not only that. He has not been selfish. Having gone through all these, and coached many of the teams including local ones, he went on to impart his knowledge to train many of the retired footballers to also take up the career of coaching. I believe the country has benefited from many of those that he had assisted in imparting that knowledge to, and we should always remember him for doing that wonderfully.

    Mr Speaker, Coach Arday, I must say I have had a closer working relationship with him when he took over Red Bulls Soccer Academy, currently called West African Football Academy (WAFA), which is situated in my constituency. In fact, he assured me of his support to get many of the communities around WAFA to appreciate why they were there and many talents he believed would be tapped to support their work over there.

    In fact, we had a lot of unfinished business before his untimely death. Mr Speaker, I would want to add my voice to the Hon Minister who made the Statement that we sympathise with the family of the

    deceased, the various teammates and the teams he coached, and of course, many sports enthusiasts who are so much feeling his loss. We all share in the grief and we believe when the time comes for his final interment, we would all be there to support the process for him to be laid to rest.

    May his soul rest in perfect peace.
    Mr Alex Kofi Agyekum (NPP -- Mpohor) 12:40 p.m.
    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


    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.
    Mr Speaker 12:40 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader?
    Majority Leader (Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu) 12:50 p.m.
    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
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    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 Thomas Nyarko Ampem (NDC-- Asuogyaman) 1 p.m.
    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
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member?
    Minister for Health (Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu) 1 p.m.
    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 --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Hajia Alima Mahama?
    I take note of Hon Members who have not made a contribution for a particular day.
    Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (Hajia Alima Mahama)(MP) 1 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Hon Member, do you rise on a point of order?
    Mr Ambrose Dery 1 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, it is a very serious misrepresentation of the situation here, which has very serious con- sequences for the country.
    We were put on tier two watch list for 2014 and 2015 --
    Mr Speaker 1 p.m.
    Are you speaking on a point of correction?
    Mr Ambrose Dery 1:10 p.m.
    Yes, Mr Speaker, it is a correction, because the assessment for 2016 is still ongoing, and if we are classified as tier two, we lose US$650 million straight away.
    Mr Speaker, what is represented here in this House could be taken as evidence of non-compliance against us. Indeed, we are taking steps to reverse that, and so, it is very important that it is reflected here, because if it is not, by March it is a matter before the Congress of the United States of America to deal with this matter.
    Mr Speaker, this January, there were two convictions for human trafficking. What has been reported here is twenty- four children liberated.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Member, are you making a contribution?
    Mr Ambrose Dery 1:10 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I need to correct this, because the Government is doing things to qualify us to dodge the sanction, and if this House of records has it that we are not doing anything, then it has consequences for us. That is why I believe I need to correct it, because there are steps being taken now. The Minister for Finance would allocate moneys, for the first time, to the Anti Human Trafficking Fund.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Thank you, for the information.
    Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije (NDC - - Ablekuma South) 1:10 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, a few remarks by Leadership, if available.
    Mr Chireh 1:10 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    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 Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    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.
    PAPERS 1:10 p.m.

    Mr Speaker 1:10 p.m.
    Hon Members, we would move on to item numbered 4(ii).
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:10 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Hon Majority Leader, if you have any suggestion, make it specifically and let us make progress.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    Very well.
    If you took the relevant cue, then shall we continue?
    We are dealing with item numbered 4 (ii), please.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    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.
    Alhaji Muntaka 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the reason it is important that we encourage you to also refer this Paper to the Mines and Energy Committee is that in
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    I believe the Annual Report has been presented.
    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, I have not done the presentation of the Annual Report of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice
    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.
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    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
    Mr Speaker 1:20 p.m.
    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 Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    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 Joseph Y. Chireh 1:20 p.m.
    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
    -- 1:20 p.m.

    Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:20 p.m.
    Mr Speaker, the traditional way of doing things had been for such reports to be referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary
    Mr Speaker 1:30 p.m.
    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 Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 1:30 p.m.
    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.
    Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka 1:30 p.m.
    Thank you, Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.
    Question put and Motion agreed to.
    ADJOURNMENT 1:30 p.m.