Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have begun withdrawing cooperation from the Majority in Parliament as a protest to President John Mahama’s comments that they are sleeping on the job.
The President, at the climax of his ‘Changing Lives’ tour last week said the Minority’s constant claims that the Government has not used all the money it has borrowed for anything good for the country meant they were not on top of their job in the legislature.
Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul told Class News’ parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan that they have been hurt by the President’s comments.
“The Minority are very hurt. You can realise that the day after the President’s comments Parliament has not been the same. We have not been able to sit successfully for a whole day. All the three or four days we have sat, there is a problem with quorum and if it continues like this, then the majority must have about 140 people every time present to take a decision because in Parliament, if you are not 139, you cannot take a decision,” he said.
He said if the Minority decides not to cooperate in Parliament, then at every point in time, the Majority will require 139 people in Parliament which will be impossible.
“I was amazed the President went to attack the Minority MPs. It’s a thing that he should not have done,” he bemoaned.
In response to suggestions that the Minority had taken the President’s comment out of context, Mr Nitiwul said he [President Mahama] knew what he was saying and “we feel it was an insult”.
“We feel our constituents have been insulted, our efforts have not been appreciated by the President. If it was an ordinary person in the NDC, we will not have a problem, but the President himself to say that, we feel insulted,” he lamented.
On whether or not the action of the minority will affect parliamentary business, Mr Nitiwul said: “I am sure the President knew that before he made that comment because he was an MP for 12 years, so, he knows the implication of what he said.
The deputy Minority leader denied claims by the Majority that the Minority were sabotaging the business of the government.
“I thought the Minority is sleeping, so, how can they sabotage anybody. All the Majority needs to do is to get 140 people anytime to take a decision in Parliament,” he stressed.