The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) leadership has admitted that the Dome Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo’s absence is affecting the party and government business.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, the party’s General Secretary, John Boadu, noted that with Ghana’s hung Parliament, the Gender Minister’s absence is adversely affecting government’s business in Parliament.
“A lot of decisions that should have been taken long ago [have not concluded], I know you will immediately talk about E-levy.
“But there is a lot of government functioning that need to move on. You wouldn’t know when the NDC [National Democratic Congress] will insist that we should put it to a vote and if we miss one MP, it means that particular government programme cannot move on,” he said on Tuesday.
Adwoa Safo was last seen in Parliament in December 2021, when she appeared in the House to dismiss claims by the Minority Caucus that she was impersonated.
She has since not returned to the Chamber.
Recently, some leading government officials and some of her colleague MPs in Parliament accused her of blackmailing government with a list of demands, including the Deputy Majority Leader post.
But reacting to this, Mr Boadu said the demands of the Dome Kwabenya lawmaker come as a surprise to the party leadership.
“It is not as if she was just left in the lurch. She’s been made a Minister, and she’s working, and we’ve never received any adverse complaints at all, so it comes to some of us as a surprise,” he told Evans Mensah.
Presently, the governing NPP is caught between a rock and a hard place since records in Parliament prove that Madam Safo has been absent from the House for more than 15 sittings without permission.
The Majority leadership in Parliament and the party are required to take a decision on the absentee MP.
According to Mr Boadu, all options are currently on the table, including triggering the constitutional provision to remove her as MP and declare her seat vacant.
“We are still trying to put our thoughts together. Trying to look at a lot of other options that can possibly make her decide if she will join us. If she doesn’t, there are other options that can be employed,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament is also pushing for the removal of two other NPP MPs – Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong and the Ayawaso Central, Henry Quartey.
According to the NDC MPs, the said lawmakers “were absent without permission from the Speaker, Alban S.K. Bagbin, for 18 working days each.”
In a post on Facebook, the North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa described the contemplation to remove Madam Safo from Parliament as “discriminatory and unprincipled attacks.”
He, therefore, asked for fairness.
“We expect and will also ensure that the Privileges Committee considers the matter of three absenting MPs and not one. Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 16 (1) of our Standing Orders must not and will not be applied selectively.
“Realistically, Ghanaians should be preparing for three by-elections in Assin Central, Ayawaso Central and Dome/Kwabenya,” he noted.
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