Executive Member of the Tema East Constituency branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has called on the public to desist from reacting to Speaker of Parliament’s order to the Parliamentary Press Corps with insults.
He also appealed to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Ocquaye, to apologise to the media, for cordial co-existence.
In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr. Ashitey Adjei, who is popularly called Moshake, said the statement of the Speaker had created mixed feelings among Ghanaians and therefore needed to be buried amicably.
He said for the deepening of democracy, it was important for both the Media and Parliament to peacefully settle their in-house issues and forge-ahead for the development of the country.
According to him, the pedigree of the Speaker and his track record assured him that he “will do the right thing and put this unfortunate matter to rest.
Speaker Ocquaye incurred public anger on Wednesday after threatening to revoke the accreditation of members of the Parliamentary press corps for leaving the Chamber of the House, while sitting was in session to cover a News conference by a Minority MP after they had boycotted the debate on the 2020 State of the Nation Address.
According to the Speaker, by doing that, the media had abandoned the core reason they were accredited to cover in Parliament and that the behaviour made it justifiable for their accreditation to be revoked.
Immediately the threat was issued, the Speaker became the cynosure of public lambaste, with Civil Society Organisations openly urging the journalists to snub the Speaker’s threat.
“Given the pedigree of the Speaker, I initially thought the order was just fake news until I monitored and confirmed from his own statements that he indeed had issued the threat.
“Besides, it begs to be answered whether Minority MPs cease to be MPs, when they are away from the Chamber? The Constitution makes it clear that even when an MP is driving in town and he is on his way to the august House, he is deemed to in the line of duty as an MP.
Moshake said he had a lot of respect for the Speaker and was therefore confident that “he will apologize.”
Meanwhile, he has asked that criticism of the Speaker be tempered, saying it is unfortunate that some of the reactions are bordering on insults.
“Whether we like it or not, our Speaker is one of the most important political fathers that we have; a founding member of the Fourth Republic we are all enjoying. In our culture, when your father flatulates in public, you take responsibility for it.”