No COVID-19 talk, action; no Parliament for me – Sam George to Speaker
Opposition MP Sam Nartey George has written to the Speaker, Prof Mike Oquaye saying he would be absent from the Chamber until the legislature takes concrete actions to protect lawmakers against the coronavirus and also prioritises COVID-19 discussions on the floor.
Ghana has recorded fifty-three cases so far with two deaths.
Most of the cases were imported from countries reeling under its devastation.
The Speaker recently asked some MPs to self-quarantine after returning from trips abroad where the virus had broken.
In his letter, however, the Ningo-Prampram MP said not only is Parliament not showing leadership in discussing measures to deal with the spread of the virus, but is not taking adequate steps to protect MPs against it.
“The risks we are subjecting ourselves to must be worth it. I am prepared to come to work every day from morning to night if it is about working with the Executive to deal with the pandemic at hand. I am prepared to go the extra mile if it is work that would protect the citizens and put the Executive in a better stead to protect the Republic.
“What I am not prepared to do sir, is to take risk that is needless. I am not prepared to risk exposure to the virus by coming to Parliament every day just to come and work on bills that are of no emergency nature and do not relate to the coronavirus or to come and sit and approve loans and tax waivers for private business interests, many of which are foreign.
“It is my considered belief Rt. Hon Speaker that, the august House of Parliament is failing to exercise its truly intended mandate in crisis times like this. I hold the strongest conviction that we are pandering whilst the flames that may engulf the state are being stoked.
“In the past two weeks, the House has met and deliberated on several issues. Top among them is the Imposition of Restrictions Bill 2020 and the granting and approvals of a number of commercial loan agreements. None of these deals with the coronavirus pandemic directly,” he said, adding: ““ For once, let us have our priorities right”, he wrote.