Speaker Orders Minister To Parliament

Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, yesterday directed the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, to appear before the House, within two hours, and answer questions put down on the Order Paper or face consequences.

Mr. Bagbin issued the two-hour ultimatum after the Minority Chief Whip and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Asawase, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, raised the issue of the absence of the minister, who was billed to answer questions admitted by the Speaker.

NDC MP for Sefwi Akontombra, Alex Tetteh Djornobuah, wanted to ask the Health Minister the type of health facility programmed to be constructed in Sefwi Akontombra and when it would be completed and handed over.

However, Mr. Agyeman-Manu did not show up in the chamber to answer, citing other commitments, which then angered the Speaker after a litany of lamentation by the Asawase MP.

He said “the minister responsible for health is aware that the question has been scheduled for today. The reason he has given for his inability to present himself before the House to answer the question is completely disrespectful to Parliament, and I am not going to take that.”

“I direct that the minister appears before Parliament within two hours to answer the question. Failing to do so, the necessary consequences will apply. Ministers must be serious towards parliamentary business,” the Speaker stressed.

He therefore asked the leaders of the Majority caucus to ensure that the minister appeared before the House as directed within the two-hour period.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House