Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has described as despicable Ablekuma West MP, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful decision to sit on a fellow colleague, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh’s lap.
Condemning all commotions that occurred during the inauguration of the 8th Parliament on Thursday, January 7, he said the former Communications Minister’s action in the House affronts the moral sensitivity of the citizenry.
“The situation of Ursula Owusu sitting on a fellow MP’s lap is jarring and offends all kinds of sensitivities.
“Even though nobody is perfect but in the Chamber of Parliament those things have a certain effect and they tend to be magnified,” he told Samson Anyenini on Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday.
Chaos erupted in Parliament prior to the dissolution of the 7thparliament when Mrs Owusu-Ekuful insisted to occupy her seat despite the takeover of the majority side of the aisle by the NDC.
The NDC MPs called for her to vacate her seat and join her colleagues at the Minority side of the house causing a melee in the process.
Explaining his side of the story, Juaboso MP, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said he never consented to Ursula Owusu, sitting on his lap.
He stated that when Mrs Owusu got up from the seat to go to the bathroom, he went to occupy that seat, stressing that, it was not his fault for the incident.
“We sat at the majority side, the right-hand side of where the speaker sits. So when they came in, all of them moved to the minority, the left side and sat down. Ursula refused to go to that side.
He told JoyNews “… And when she came back [from what he believes may have been the washroom], she sat on my lap. She just sat on my lap. I didn’t want to touch her.”
Noting that the heated altercation could have been avoided, Mr Bentil said, “Somebody went into somebody’s space, insisting that they were going to sit somewhere. The name Parliament, itself means, ‘Speaking’. That means you do not do anything by force, it should be the soundness of your argument.”
The legal practitioner although admired the formation of the 8th Parliament which has broken the ‘winner takes all’ syndrome in the country’s democracy, he advised that concession and negotiation should be an essential instrument to avoid another legislative embarrassment.
“MPs showed the utmost contempt for the House that is a very serious thing. This is because we have this sense of Parliament that is the place where real work is done, laws are passed. They check the Executives and all so seeing them the way we saw them was really sad.
“We like Parliament as it is, from a citizen and an analyst point of view and we think they must find a way for things to work. So what we saw, if that is an indication of what is going to happen in the next four years, which I hope not, but if it is, then it is going to be very worrying.”