Mr Speaker, having stayed in this House for over a decade, if we do not do away with two things, by my observation, we would continue to have the challenges that we have regardless of what we do.
In my view, as painful as it may be, all of us have been involved in it and I mean, as the Hon Majority Leader would say, someone was a champion of one thing or the other. The excessive partisanship in Parliament.
Mr Speaker, if we, as a Parliament do not wake up and rise above excessive partisanship in this House, there is no way we would make the mark to get us to stay in this Chamber for long.
This is because, almost everything that the Hon Members of the Majority side of the House are doing is to protect their own and the Hon Members of the Minority side are doing everything to drag the Hon Members of the Majority down. That is what we seem to be doing in this House. With the greatest of respect --
When one is on the Majority side, it is as if when they were there, they were protecting their own interest and how would one now want to expose them and a lot of pressure goes to the Hon Majority Leader and his team on the front bench. So, at a point, they also lose guard and it is about they protecting their own interest.
No matter what the Majority side does, the Minority side would say that if they should acknowledge the Majority side, they would never come to power. So, no matter what it is, they would insist and push them down.
Mr Speaker, if we do not do away with this attitude, there is no way this House would grow.
Mr Speaker, secondly and very importantly is the politics of patronage and this is one of the main banes of our challenges as Hon Members of Parliament. Mr Speaker, a person gets elected and everybody in the constituency thinks that the person should be the Father Christmas and provide for food, health, bills and support people to get jobs and buy other things.
Mr Speaker, even when other people are getting married, they think that because they have voted for you and they were members of your executive, so, you have to support them.
Mr Speaker, if we do not find a way of legislating and criminalising the excessive patronage in our politics in Ghana, then there is no way that the politics in this country would develop. This is because it would all be about elections; one goes for the election, when it is done then the person would come back, and beginning 8th January the person would start working towards elections.
We would never do anything out of conscience -- just because it has to be done, we would all do things, so that we would win the next elections. Mr Speaker, if we do this, then there is no way that we would be able to develop this House. It is sad.
Mr Speaker, last time, when Hon Bagbin was the Hon Majority Leader with Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as the then Hon Minority Leader, they had to struggle through their primaries. Not the election itself but the climax towards the contests -- the insults and name calling. One would wonder whether it is worth it -- having developed their constituencies, themselves and this House to that level -- must they be treated to that level of humiliation?
Mr Speaker, people called them names and said all manner of things about them. There was a person who said in Twi that “Na aden, ono nko ara na owo nyansa?” to wit “Is he the only wise man in this constituency?” He has done enough and so he should go.
I was on the radio and asked him whether he wanted to remove somebody who is an Hon Leader in the House and then when he gets here, he would come and start from behind? Mr Speaker, then he said that when he comes, he would come and sit on his chair.
Mr Speaker, that was what he thought -- that when he comes here he would come and sit on the Hon Majority Leader's chair and continue from where he left. This is so sad.
Mr Speaker, as individuals and Hon Members of Parliament, we must do the best that we could to get our constituents to understand that our focus is law making. Yes, we could support as much as possible but it should not be as though all we have to do is to constantly do almost everything for a constituent. Mr Speaker, when we do that we would never be able to meet their expectations and definitely every four years, a chunk would drop along the way.
Mr Speaker, the late Rt Hon Speaker, Hon Peter Ala Adjetey, did something which I believe we should bring back. My Hon Leaders are here to correct me. Close to the end of the tenure, certificates were presented to every Hon Member of Parliament.
There was usually a dinner and a certificate was presented to the Hon Member that he was in this House over a
certain period. Mr Speaker, I believe that the last time was with the late Hon Peter Ala Adjetey but when Hon Sekyi-Hughes was the Rt Hon Speaker, it did not happen and so on till today.
Mr Speaker, we do not want to recognise ourselves, yet we would want outsiders to recognise us. I believe that the Rt Hon Speaker should give it a thought because, through that we popularise those who are doing very well among us and give Hon Members certificates of having been here over the period.
Mr Speaker, because I know that the Hon Majority Leader or someone from the Majority side would also speak, let me end by saying that this is a very useful thing that we are doing for ourselves -- to identify people who have contributed heavily and recognise them while they are alive and are still Hon Members of Parliament.
Mr Speaker, let me say without any fear of contradiction that if there is one other person that we would need to find the opportunity to really acknowledge the immense contribution to this House then, obviously, it is the Hon Majority Leader.
This is because everyone and those of us who have been in this Chamber over a decade would admit that he may have his shortfalls and weaknesses, but when it comes to law making, I doubt that if we are going to count the first five Members of Parliament in this Chamber, he would be one.
Mr Speaker, and for him to do this over 20 years, then we would need to definitely find time to also acknowledge his effort just as we are doing today for our senior Hon Colleague, Hon Alban Bagbin.
We do not have to wait until they are dead before we would come and say all the nice things about them when they