The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has been left disgusted by the behavior of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the media and on social media, concerning the construction of a new chamber for Parliament.
He wants discussions, if any, regarding the issue to be limited to the House by MPs because, their current approach, in his view, is distasteful.
Some MPs have spoken against the construction of the new chamber since Parliament’s plans became known to the public.
The cost of the construction of the new 450-seater chamber which is yet to be made known to the public has been awarded to British-Ghanaian architect, David Adjaye and is expected to begin before the end of the year.
While some MPs have backed the plan, others are vehemently against it. Kumbungu MP, Ras Mubarak is one of them.
This is how the interior of the new chamber is expected to look like
He described the decision as a misplaced priority and would rather, more is done to improve the lives of Ghanaians.
On Wednesday, while contributing to a discussion on Ghana-Canada relations, Adaklu MP, Kwame Agbodza also insisted there was no need for a new chamber.
“Sometimes it is not simply how to be comfortable around yourself but certain things must remain what they are forever for a very good reason. If Canada were to say their GDP is $2 trillion, they have resources and could build a Parliament in every province but they don’t do that simply because that building must remain a Parliamentary building to cement what their values are, in terms of their Parliamentary democracy,” he said on the floor.
In reference to the British Parliament which has over 600 MPs yet limited sitting space, resulting in a situation where some MPs stand to conduct business, he said, there are enough seats for MPs in Ghana’s Parliament, therefore, a new chamber is unnecessary.
Ledzokuku MP, Benard Oko-Boye did not think the Adaklu MPs comment was appropriate for the discussion being had.
The current chamber
He advised Mr Agbodza not to “drink the soup because the food will definitely come.”
“When you start like this and the debate comes, what will you do,” he queried.
The First Deputy Speaker agreed.
He wanted the MPs to stick to the discussion – 152nd Canadian independence and lessons from it – as there was no need to speak on the construction of the new chamber when it has yet to be tabled before Parliament.
He wondered how the MPs are commenting on the issue when they have yet to receive information and facts on it.
“Members are commenting as if they know the facts. I think we should discuss them here (in Parliament) for the true facts…and the things I am seeing on social media are sickening.”
He directed the leadership of the House to make a statement for discussions to be had on it.