I’ve No Chair In Parliament – Haruna

Haruna Iddrisu sitting on First Deputy Speaker’s chair


FORMER MINORITY Leader Haruna Iddrisu took Parliament by storm yesterday when he crossed the aisle to stake out a position in the NPP Majority territory on the right side of the House chamber to contribute to a report of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The House was debating the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation, also known as the Niamey Convention, when Mr. Iddrisu entered the chamber to openly complain about not being assigned a seat since his demotion by the NDC.

Despite the fact that Members of Parliament (MPs) are divided by party in the chamber, the NDC MP for Tamale South decided to disregard history and tradition and take the seat of the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding over proceedings at the time.

“Mr. Speaker, I am speaking from your seat, and indulge me to speak to the adoption of the convention referred to as the Niamey Convention,” he pleaded.

He then proceeded to make his comments on the report, requesting that the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee should consider making some corrections to the report, referring to pages 8 and 9.

“Mr. Speaker, we don’t belong here. We are exercising a mandate pursuant to Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution,” he stated and added that the House must be invited by the committee’s report to adopt the ratification of the convention in accordance with Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution.

“That should be the recommendation to this House. Niamey Convention 17 is to guard a decision of African Heads of State. So, we are guarded by that. But at least, in this report, you must be making an application to this House to adopt this report, ratifying the convention in accordance with Article 75,” he noted.

Collins Dauda Seat

After asking for forgiveness, the immediate-past Minority Leader returned to explain why he assumed the First Deputy Speaker’s chair.

According to him, he was offered but declined the chair of the NDC MP for Asutifi South, Collins Dauda, whom he regarded as a senior member of the House.

“Mr. Speaker, forgive me that I had to assume your chair. There was whether I should take over from Hon. Collins Dauda or not, and I have told them that Hon. Collins Dauda is senior by age and senior to even this House.

“I will not fit into his chair, as somebody who is well trained from home. So, any other chair acceptable to me [is okay]. I am still the elected Member of Parliament for Tamale South. I thank you,” he posited.

BY Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House