Debates of 7 Feb 2006

PRAYERS 10:10 a.m.

Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Order! Order!
Communication from the President
THE CASTLE-OSU 10:10 a.m.

ACCRA 10:10 a.m.


SUPREME COURT 10:10 a.m.


THE CLERK 10:10 a.m.





Mr. M. E. K. Ackah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Page 5, number 4, under “Absent”, my name has been presented as being absent but I was in the House on Friday.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
You were present; the correction will be done. Page 6?
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, on page 6, I see some names having been listed as absent but they were absent with permission. Mr. Speaker, you would recollect that these were hon. Colleagues who were with us at Amanokrom last Friday; they gave the indication and I sent the list to you. The list includes: hon. William Ofori Boafo, hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, and hon. Joseph Henry Mensah. I think these are the ones that I do remember, Mr. Speaker - and hon. Papa Owusu-Ankomah and Prof. Fobih as well.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Pages 7…12? [Pause.] [We do not have any Official Report] Item 3 - Statements, hon. Eric Opoku, Member of Parliament for Asunafo South? [Pause.] Do we have in the House hon.
Oppon-Kusi, Member of Parliament for Ayirebi/Ofoase?
STATEMENTS 10:10 a.m.

Mr. David Oppon-Kusi (NPP - Ayirebi/Ofoase) 10:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make a Statement on the 170th Anniversary Celebrations of the Methodist Church, Ghana.
The Methodist Church, Ghana devoted the whole of last year to activities marking the 170th Anniversary of its existence in the country and of evangelism devoted to “Making Disciples of All Nations” as commanded by Christ in Matthew 28:19.
Mr. Speaker, on January 1, 1835 the Pioneer Methodist Missionary, Joseph Dunwell, landed at Cape Coast to establish the Methodist Mission in the then Gold Coast.
During the first eight years of the church's life eleven (11) out of the twenty- one (21) missionaries sent here died from tropical diseases, yet this did not deter the remaining missionaries from continuing the work of their predecessors.
Thomas Birch Freeman arrived in the Gold Coast in 1838 and by 1857 had expanded Methodism from the coast to Ashanti and to Badagry and Abeokuta in Nigeria. The establishment of Mission work in northern Ghana was delayed by the Colonial Authorities until 1955.
As recently as 1961, the church in Ghana was an overseas District of British Methodism. In July 1961, the Conference of the Methodist Church, Ghana came into
being, and since then there has been no turning back.
Mr. Speaker, the active Methodist community currently stands at 3.5 million strong. There are two hundred and four (204) Circuits under fifteen (15) Dioceses throughout the country. The church has seven hundred and sixty-nine (769) Ministers, one hundred and sixty-eight (168) Lay Evangelists and Missionaries as well as about twenty-seven thousand Local Preachers and Class Leaders; and the church continues to grow.
Mr. Speaker, the real thrust of my Statement is on the contribution of the Methodist Church to the development of the country through education, health, tourism and spiritual development. A very key area in the church's contribution to societal development is education.
The contribution of the Church towards quality education is well documented through the numerous basic, secondary and training schools dotted all over the country. The combination of intellectual training with Christian Ethics has contributed in no small way to the production of quality leaders for this country. A lot of Ghanaians who may not be Methodists themselves may have passed through a Methodist basic, secondary or tertiary school.
The establishment of Wesley Girls High School (WGHS), Mfantsipim School, Prempeh College, Wesley Grammar, Bremang Asikuma Secondary School, Wesley College, Komenda College, Offinso Training College and many more too numerous to mention have constituted empirical evidence of the endeavours of the Methodist Church.

Currently in this Parliament there
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC - Ningo- Prampram) 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the Statement on the floor and I am very happy that this Statement has been made. I would want to congratulate the hon. Member who made the Statement. As a fourth generation dyed-in-the-wool Methodist and as a great grandson of the one who sent Methodism to Prampram, one hundred and fifty-eight years ago, I am really happy that this subject has come to the floor of the House.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member who
made the Statement said the church is growing but I think the church is losing quite a number of its members to the charismatic churches and Pentecostals. I did some research to find out what the problems were and I think at this point that there is so much competition in the market place, as far as the church is concerned. I believe that the current administrators of the church will have to map out a new strategy to move the church forward.
The current Presiding Bishop, when he was inaugurated, said one of his objectives was to double the membership of the church in the next five years. A goal has been set; how do we mobilize ourselves as Methodists to achieve that goal? We need to look at the way we do our things; we need to look at the structure of the Methodist Church itself-- the administrative structure itself. What we have today is a
Presiding Bishop whose tenure is defined and known to be six years. Then when we come to the Diocesan Bishops, the tenure is defined. Below that we have
the tenure of the Ministers are which is not defined; they can be transferred anytime at all, at the whims and caprices of whoever is out there. And when one has a plan to develop and then the key players of the plan have no tenure - they are always looking over their shoulders - it creates problems.
So I am saying that if we have the tenure defined at the top it must come all the way down to the circuits. So the Circuit Ministers should also have tenure of office and whatever they put out there for them to do will be done to help the church to grow.
Our church started, based on songs, and we are told that when the Wesleys started their mission, out of every ten people that were converted nine were converted through songs. It shows the importance of singing in the church, and it is important that in trying to strengthen the structures, we must appoint full-time music directors. When we look at these charismatic churches, the basis of their growth is the music -- solid choirs. The choir masters are paid, the district directors are paid full- time and so people go out there.
Song ministration is something which is important, and if the Reverend Minister does not deliver, they get their messages through the songs. So as part of the things that we need to do for the church to grow, to take up the leading role that we have been playing earalier, we need to look at our music industry.
The singing band must be properly put in place and we have to move away from what we used to do before. The Reverend Ministers, the key players in this whole scenario that I am trying to paint must be taken care of. Reverend Ministers who have been out there for three years, some of them earn about one point two million cedis a month.
And we are told that the rest will be
Mr. E. T. Mensah (NDC - Ningo- Prampram) 10:30 a.m.
paid from adoye, nipa wo adoye -- people will give donations and what have you. Today, times are so hard that people want moneys from the Ministers themselves and the so-called adoye that we are talking about depends on which station that one is in - [Interruption.] There are people who will give them, not kickbacks but kickfronts and which is not right. Because if we go to some of the areas that we call pensioners societies, where people use coins for offering, we have a problem.

So I am saying that at this time the church must have a central fund where they pay the ministers from. The church must also look at the caliber of the clergy that we have. Today, there are many people who have Multi-Choice; they watch channel 77, channel 80 good sermons out there. So if a Minister does not come out with good sermons and they realise that they can go to Central Gospel Church and get good sermons, because somebody is moving away from a point where he is delivering, then people would go.

So we have to look at seminaries. We were the ones who set up the seminary in Legon. We have to look at the curriculum and make sure that as the times change we change the curriculum to suit the times and the moments. So our people in the cities, where we have Reverend Ministers, we must make sure that the church subscribes to Multi-Choice for them to avail themselves They can access the Internet, get good sermons to enrich themselves so that they would give us the food that we need; and that would let people join the church for the church to double its presence.

Mr. Speaker, I can go on and on, but in short what I am saying is that the
Mr. Kojo Armah (CPP - Evalue- Gwira) 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement made by the hon. Member for Ayirebi/Ofoase. I believe it is a Statement that is well-timed and the catalogue of activities and achievements of the Methodist Church that he gave us should also made us very happy that we have a church that is very forward-looking and is involved in national development.
Mr. Speaker, though I am not one of them I am a constant worshiper in the Methodist Church in my constituency and I can testify also to the fact that the church has done a lot for the area. But I want to draw attention of hon. Members to the fact that the church has a mission. All churches - the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church had a mission when they first set foot here. And out that mission they tray to make gentlemen and ladies of our children, not only in terms of their education but also in terms of morality and discipline. When we talk about the “classical Presbyterian” it is one of respect, honour to our senior citizens, elders and fathers. These days, as the hon. Member who made the Statement said, morality appears to have broken down and respect, properly so-called, does not exist any longer in our society. I believe the church needs to refocus its attention on these basics because a country without discipline appears to be a country that is running to the precipice and may sooner than later break down.
What you see these days, Mr. Speaker, is that the youth do not appear to give
much reverence to the elderly. In buses they would not get up for the elderly to sit down; sometimes even saying “thank you” has become a problem for the youth. Greetings have become a problem. Those have anything closer to that respect would simply salute and go away without adding the ones that we know, “Good morning, sir; Good morning, ma'am.” I believe the churches ought to look at those moral aspects of our society and try to fix them again.
In the early days it was through the Sunday schools and the youth fellowships and things like that. These things do exist but whether they teach these as tenets of morality or not has changed with the times.
Mr. Speaker, one other thing that we ought to look at is the very history of this country. The hon. Member who made the Statement made references to some people like Dunwell and others who have helped the Methodist Church. I also happen to know the Reverend Grant, Gaddiel Acquaah and the rest.
The problem we have with history is that we do not keep history at all. We are growing without knowing our elders in the society, through history. And I believe in the 170 years of its existence, the Methodist Church should have enough material for researchers to look at how Methodism and our national growth have all gone in tandem to make this country what it is.
My advice is that if they do not have one they should also open an arachive or have a museum where these early pioneers of Methodism Ekem Furguson, Rev. Grant, Rev. Gaddiel Acquaah and the rest would be showcased so that the younger generations, including the fourth generation would also go to these places,
look at the lives of these senior ones and then take a cue from them and let discipline be part of our national ethos in this country.
Mr. Speaker, I join the hon. Member who made the Statement in congratulating the Methodist Church and all those pioneers who sacrificed their youthful years to make the church grow up to this day when it is celebrating its 170 years. And I do believe that all other churches, including the very young ones that are just coming up, left, right and center will look at the tenets of these churches, especially the Methodist Church and take a cue from there to help us build a society based firmly on moral principles and discipline.
I salute the Methodist Church, Mr. Speaker.
Deputy Minister for the Interior (Capt. N. Effah-Dartey (retd): Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to join my hon. Colleagues in saluting the Methodists Church of Ghana as it celebrates its 170th anniversary.
Mr. Speaker, it is important to salute them, more so because we are living in very interesting times. All over you see all manner of churches springing up. In the city of Accra alone, there are over 2,000 churches. One wonders how those churches came into existence. Even in Berekum, my own constituency - Berekum is relatively small-sized as compared to Accra. With a population of about 96,000, we have over 100 churches in Berekum metropolis. Anybody gets up, he tells himself that he has been called and then he opens a church and gives it an interesting name and dresses like a bishop or something - [Laughter.] Mr. Speaker, against this background, to think that the Methodist Church has been in existence for 170 years, it is indeed a cause for celebration, and that is why I join them in
celebrating their anniversary.
Mr. Speaker, the church has a mandate to evangelise, to win more souls for Christ; and I would urge the church, as they celebrate their 170th anniversary, to take evangelism very seriously.
Mr. Speaker, an hon. Colleague has mentioned that Methodism was born with songs and I agree fully with him. If you look at the Methodist Hymn Book it contains a lot of interesting hymns and songs both for happiness, for sorrow and all manner of occasions. I pray that the Methodist Church would take a very serious step in making sure that the Methodist Hymn Book is produced in large quantities so that anybody who wants to hold a Methodist Hymn Book would get one to buy.

But Mr. Speaker, when I was a soldier I was worshipping in the Presbyterian/ Methodist Garrison Church in Burma Camp and over the past 30 years I have been worshipping daily at the Accra Ridge Church, which is a church that belongs to both the Presbyterian and Methodist churches - [Interruptions.] And Anglican, let nobody misunderstand me; I beg you. It is Presbyterian, Methodist and Anglican and because of that I have come into very close contact with the Methodist church and their way of doing things.

Mr. Speaker, I want to end by saying that I am happy and proud to acknowledge that the present Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church comes from Brong Ahafo Region, the Most Rv. Aboagye- Mensah, and I will urge him to continue the good works of his predecessor, the Most Rev. Asante-Antwi. I will also urge him to ion particular concentrate more on the university that the church is building. Whilst he is considering it, I have taken notice of the fact that they intend opening campuses in various places.

He should not forget to think about the possibility of opening a campus in Berekum. That would be very good, because we have the Freeman Methodist Church in Berekum with a very big population and we have a lot of facilities which I think the Methodist Church would find very useful in building their university.

Mr. Speaker, with all these things said, I join my hon. Colleagues in really saluting the Methodist Church of Ghana for a good work done. May the coming years bring them more souls and more victories.
Mr. A. K. Agbesi (NDC Ashaiman) 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I thank you for giving me the

opportunity to contribute to this Statement on the floor.

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member who made the Statement has listed a lot of achievements that the Methodist Church has made. We were told of their contribution in education, basic education, secondary education, tertiary education and recently the university that they have established. We are even informed that in this House, we have a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are Methodists. This, Mr. Speaker, is a good achievement.

Mr. Speaker, but I would want to know what the Methodist Church and, for that matter, what the orthodox churches in Ghana as a whole are doing in terms of sponsoring people to attend educational institutions. Mr. Speaker, I am saying this because it is not only the establishment of the schools and the colleges per se that is necessary but also the people who are going to attend these schools. What is the contribution of the church in terms of sponsorship for these people who are going to school?

Mr. Speaker, I am saying this, that of late education has become so much an investment. On Sundays we all go to the churches and make contributions; the churches have a mission to win souls for Christ. Mr. Speaker, I will go further say that the churches must not only win souls, they must also win our bodies to Christ because our bodies also count, not only our spirits. Mr. Speaker, I am also concerned about what the churches, particularly the Methodist Church is doing at the national level.

Mr. Speaker, when we were at the university, particularly when the Union Government was going to be established, we heard the churches issue pastoral letters, talking seriously on issues that

[CAPT. EFFAH-DARTEY (RETD)] concerned all of us. I believe that in those days pastoral letters that were issued by the churches of which the Methodist Church was a member, contributed a lot in fashioning out whether we were going to have Union Government or not. Mr. Speaker, of late the churches are quiet; the Churches are dead quiet. What are they doing? The Methodist Church is 170 years old; what are their leaders doing at the national level? Mr. Speaker, there are many national issues that are confronting us today. I wish that the leaders of these churches would come out and contribute to the discussion --
Mr. B. D. K. Adu 10:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member who has the floor is saying the churches are quiet today. Well, I want to inform him that they are quiet because there is good governance. [Hear! Hear!]
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, you may resume.
Mr. Agbesi 10:40 a.m.
There is good governance where the people cannot eat three times a day. [Laughter.] That is the good governance he is talking about. We want a situation where I can go out and tell myself that I had three square meals a day.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, the rules about Statements in this House are very clear; contributors are not to introduce contentious matters and in that regard inject confusion into the Statement that has been made. The rules are very clear and I would want to caution my hon. Colleague that he should not introduce debate into this matter.
Mr. Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, you may wish to wind up at this stage.
Mr. Agbesi 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, finally,
it is my wish to hear the leaders of the churches, not only the Methodist, talk and direct us on issues that are bothering us in this country because by continually saying that they do not want to get involved in politics is not helping the churches and it is not helping us either.
Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for giving me the opportunity.
D e p u t y M i n i s t e r f o r Wa t e r Resources, Works and Housing (Ms. Cecilia A. Dapaah): Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate myself with the Statement on the floor. I think it is long over-due and I thank the hon. Member for having the initiative to make this Statement.
Mr. Speaker, as a thorough-bred Methodist, I wish to commend my church for the able manner in which they have shepherded we the flock. We all know that Methodism is based on meticulous, orderly discipline. Every Methodist worth his or her salt is found to be very, very disciplined, very simple and quite honest. [[Hear! Hear!].
Mr. Speaker, I wish to touch on what we derive from the hymns that we sing. I would entreat my follow hon. Members that anytime they are down, they should just take the Methodist Hymn Book, sing from hymn 1, through to the end, and definitely, the Lord would indeed lift their souls up. [Hear! Hear!] Mr. Speaker, whoever also wants to improve his or her vocabulary in the English Language should also take the Methodist Hymn Book. The hymns are Holy Spirit inspired. If we check the backgrounds of the writers and the composers then we would understand where they are coming from. I wish to also commend our Clergy for their humility, for their simplicity and for their selflessness. I am yet to see a proud Methodist clergyman; I cannot find one.
Mr. Speaker, the Methodist Church is known to be, for want of a better word - maybe, I do not want to discriminate here - very good educators and they have never failed in the field of education. As much as they open schools, they also make sure that the souls and the spirits of the students are catered for. From my own experience - I had the honour and the privilege of attending Mmofrafro Girls' Boarding School as well as Wesley Girls' High School and we all know that indeed it is a truth universally acclaimed that women who have been trained in these two schools are exceptionally good - [Hear! Hear! ] -- in marriage, their professions and training of children.
Mr. Speaker, the Methodist Church is also known to be very good in evangelism. In our Church, for instance, Bethany of Dzorwolu, where I attend church services with certain hon. Members here, hon. E. T. Mensah, hon. Kan Dapaah and Hon. Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, we know that yearly we make contributions to sponsor evangelistic work in our three northern regions; and I must commend our church for this.
We all know that Methodists also have morning devotions and revivals and we practise the teaching of the Bible through and through.

Mr. Speaker, I would end my short contribution by saying that the Methodist Church has a charge to keep and, glory and thanks to God, we have done this with great distinction; and we shall continue to contribute our quota to the development of this nation.

Mr. Abuga Pele (NDC - Chiana Paga) 10:50 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me opportunity to make a statement on the Black Stars of Ghana. Mr. Speaker, the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Egypt
Mr. B. D. K. Adu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the Statement on the floor. In doing so, I think the President had every right to have had high hopes for our team. Unfortunately, they could not perform to expectation.
Mr. Speaker, the worry of many Ghanaians when it comes to the football front is coaching. And I, in particular, have never supported a foreign coach; no. We are now a nation; we can do our own thing and we are not short of good coaches in this country. When I say good coaches, I mean good local coaches. We have them; the Attuquayefios are there, and many others. The four times that we won the African Championship, we did not have any foreign coach; I stand for correction. C. K. Gyamfi won us the African Championship.
So what is happening? Paying huge sums of moneys, dollars to employ a foreign coach? Whilst we say the present coach helped us to qualify for the World Cup, fine, equally a local coach could have done same. So I want to entreat the people at the helm of affairs to look again if we can look within and get our local coaches to be on the job. And when we get them, they should be paid well. Why should we pay a local coach three thousand dollars, four thousand dollars, five thousand dollars a month and pay a foreign coach so much? No.
So Mr. Speaker, if we want to make
any progress in the coming World Cup Tournament, we have to look again. Even if we are going to keep this coach, we should have competent local coaches to support him.
I wish the Black Stars well and I pray that God will be with them, that they will prove themselves in the coming World Cup Competition.
Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo (NDC - Wa Central) 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it was a very sad day for Ghana when in our last match we lost to Zimbabwe, the hapless Zimbabwe that was beaten by all other members of the group. It tells us about the type of policy we pursue in Ghana regarding our youth development and regarding our sports development.
Mr. Speaker, in Ghana apart from the First Republic and the PNDC era, for me, I have not seen any consistent policy direction that will orient our youth towards the patriotic approach we want them to have in dealing with national issues and it manifested in the present CAN 2006 that we are witnessing today.
Mr. Speaker, we need to do something about it. We need to have consistent youth policy, we need to support the National Youth Council, and we need to support the Sports Council. That support should ensure that young people growing up should understand their own commitments to our nation and that when they are called upon to sacrifice a little for the nation, regardless of any material benefit there will give off their very best.
Mr. Speaker, we need to also overhaul the whole sports development programme in this country. There have been talks about a weak technical bench, which was responsible for what happened when
Ghana played Zimbabwe. Perhaps, it is not very much understood what that means, but for me it is important that the football administration should look more thoroughly at the coaching that takes place - who becomes the head coach, who sits on the technical bench and what decisions are taken during such matches. Mr. Speaker, I would, therefore, call for a whole overhaul of the sporting administration regarding football.
We are very confident presently in our Ghana Football Association (GFA) Chairman because there had been very intelligent decisions taken by him but we are very dissatisfied with the technical decisions that go in to wining a match. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, it is so shameful that for all this time, for all the African Cups that Ghana has brought here, the glories we had chalked all these years, they have been black coaches who were in the majority - African, Ghanaian coaches. Now, we bring in foreign coaches, we fail and we insist on bringing them and paying much money to them than we pay our own coaches.
Mr. Speaker, therefore, I would want to advise the football administrators to, from hence, provide enough training for our coaches the way we want them to be, and engage them so that we can get quality coaching and ensure that we get people who are really committed; and that would ensure that when they go out for a fight like this, we register successes.
Mr. Speaker, with this, I want to support the Statement.
Mr. Joe Baidoe-Ansah (NDC - Effia/ Kwesimintsim) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend all those who ensured that our team was part of the African Cup of Nations (CAN) 2006. Mr. Speaker, the
players did their best, the technical team did their best, supporters trooped there and they really encouraged our team and technical bench; but we could not win the game. Mr. Speaker, sometimes we tend to lose the reason for having sports or games. It is not a promotion of war or division amongst people, but it is rather to bring people together.
Sometimes in playing we do not get what we need to get but we ought to accept it and believe that we would work towards a better yield next time. Sports is supposed to being us together and not to divide us as a people. As much as I would agree that it is a game, I think that we also need as a country to put more into developing these games and sports. We only hear about our Black Stars and other teams but on the local level or the committee level, what do we do as Ghanaians to ensure that we develop sports within our communities so that people can rise up to become members of our national team? This is a question that we all as Ghanaians would have to help to answer. That is to say, what can we as individuals or members of the community do to develop the basics of sports in our community? It is something that we all enjoy but very few people would want to contribute towards its development. And I want to use this occasion to encourage all Ghanaians, those who can in terms of finance and those who cannot help financially but can in other says contribute so that within our communities we would have vibrant facilities in order that people can move to the level that our current Black Stars have risen to.
On the issue of having local coaches, it is very important that we all emphasise on the quality of the technical input in terms of coaching rather than whether he is a white or a black person. It is important
Mr. Joe Baidoe-Ansah (NDC - Effia/ Kwesimintsim) 11:10 a.m.
When we talk about football in this country, it looks like it raises a lot of passion. It is because maybe we have also got to develop other sports.
The interest in football now calls for us to really examine our attitude towards sports in general. I believe that football should not be the only sport that takes a chunk of our sports budget but we should learn to develop other sports that are also as effective and better enjoyed by people from various places. Maybe, we are concentrating too much on football because we are not contributing much towards improving sports.
Football, what it takes, normally, is for people within the communities to just put some balls somewhere, erect goalposts, and play. It is cheaper and that is maybe why we are concentrating on it. But it would be important for us as a country to contribute more towards sports, contribute money to build health facilities so that we can enjoy other sports like Rugby and others. If you take a sport like golf, golfing in our country is becoming the sport for the rich but I know that in other countries it is not the rich man who goes in for golf but any other person who is interested in it should be able to go in there and play and enjoy the sport.
Mr. Speaker, with these few words, I think you for giving me the opportunity.
Mr. Alfred Abayateye (NDC -
Sege): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the Statement on the floor. Indeed, I was shocked when we lost the game because I am a football fan. I was glued to my seat, I did not know what to do when we were beaten 2-1.

Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Football Association, to me, needs to sit up; and thank God for the new Chairman. But I want to use this medium to tell them to really follow the FIFA rules when it comes to the release of players for such competitions. We competed with la Cote d'Ivoire and other teams and they were able to secure the release of their players and they came on time; and they came together; that means there was cohesion, but we could not have that. I concede that the GFA left everything for the coach and therefore the coach had some problems. But if the authorities had managed to call in the FIFA players, I believe we could secured the services of our players we wanted to use.

Again, normally, all the teams left their countries for the competition, but when the team was leaving Ghana, not all the 23 players had assembled here to Tunisia and Egypt. I would want to know what is happening. Is there a different rule for Ghana and a different rule for Nigeria soccer? The GFA, should please it up.

Again, I want to talk on incentives to the local coaches which always hinder their progress. When the foreign coaches

I want to plead with Coach Sam Addy, Coach Afranie and Coach Sir Cecil Attuquayefio to please forget what has happened, team up and assist Coach Doya for something good to come to Ghana. We did not have a technical bench. I am a layman, we did not have a technical bench but if this team, the Ghanaians I have mentioned, can team up and then the authorities would give them the go- ahead to come and assist Doya, I believe they will bring their expertise to bear on the team. Sometimes, when one is on the field playing you need to shout a local language to the players but I wonder the type of language Doya shouts to the players -- [Laughter.] One needs to shout a local language which has an effect and they would know what to do. So I would want to plead with the authorities to bring in the local coaches, put something at their disposal, and Ghana sports will come back.

Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP

- Suame): Mr. Speaker, I also rise to associate myself with the Statement which I find very timeous, read by my hon. Colleague, the Ranking Member on the Committee of Youth and Sports. Mr. Speaker, I believe the not too good performance put up by the Black Stars

should be a wake up call for all of us in the country and for the team in particular so that come the mondial, the World Cup tournament in Germany which is less than five months hence, the nation will not be disgraced.

Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of the not too good performance by the team, calls have been made by some well-meaning people to get the coach sacked. I believe that these calls have come on the spur of the moment because of the pain that the team caused Ghanaians. But Mr. Speaker, if any football enthusiast, any football fan was expecting that against Zimbabwe we were going to ride roughshod over Zimbabwe or rout them then that person perhaps does not really understand football.

Mr. Speaker, the engine room of any team play is the midfield, and we lost four of our quality midfielders - Essien was not available; Sulley Muntare was not available; and the guy who was doing the dirty work for us, Laryea Kingston had been sacked; and Appiah the Captain was injured and there was not much to write about his own contribution to that particular game.

Mr. Speaker, he was only put there to distract and disorganize the Zimbabweans and I guess that plan did not work. Normally when you have a reputable player you would want to put him there so that on any given day you may have a couple of players around him any time he got the ball to release one player. But unfortunately it did not work because he did not have the strength to be even moving around.

Mr. Speaker, so I believe as my hon. Colleague said, yes, it should serve as a wake up call for us and it is important at this stage that the technical people have a critical reappraisal of the team. Let us be

very honest with ourselves, there are some people there who should not belong to the team in the first place. They are at the dusk of their playing careers. They are finding solace in the Qatars and Saudi Arabias and we invite them to the national team.

Mr. Speaker, such people should not have any place there. There are some people in Europe who are playing 1st division soccer and they are on top and how do we compare such people to those who are playing in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and leave those people in Germany and in Italy out and go for such players? Mr. Speaker, the technical team should really be more up-and-doing.

But regarding what has happened, Mr.

Speaker, as I have said, I believe that we should not rush to dispense with the coach. Nigeria, when they won the African Cup, the year when they won the World Cup -- When they performed so creditably during the World Cup -- Remember that there was a Nations Cup Tournament, it was hosted by Algeria; the first match was between Nigeria and Algeria and Algeria routed Nigeria by five goals to one (5:1).

They did not sack Clemens Westerhof, they kept him and when he made changes to the team, the team was able to go right up to the final, played the same Algeria again and lost by a single goal; that tells about the technical competence of the team at the time. And after that, Mr. Speaker, when they came home the Nigerians engaged in several friendly matches, played 43 friendly matches after the African Nations Cup and at the end of it all they had succeeded in using 112 players. So when they went for the World Cup they knew that they had tried all of them and come out with the best.

Mr. Speaker, talking about coaches, the point has been made that we should be looking inside and not outside. I do
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Let me recognize one more.
Alhaji Sumani Abukari (NDC - Tamale North) 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am glad
to be adding my voice to the Statement as read by the hon. Member for Chiana/ Paga, Mr. Abuga Pele. Mr. Speaker, sometimes, some of us do not have the heart to watch football matches, especially crucial football matches involving Ghana, because as an hon. Colleague said, one could collapse in the process.
We are so passionate about football that we think that Ghana should always win. It is natural that we cannot always win, but we have no defence. When it is obvious to everybody that Ghana ought to win a match which it does not win, that one, we have no defence. Mr. Speaker, we only needed to draw with Zimbabwe; just a draw could have seen us through to the next stage and yet we could not make that draw.

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that a

country like Ghana where the passion of the nation is football, the one event that brings bi-partisan approach to everything that we do about it - There are so many young players around and yet we do not go to such events with our best players. My understanding is that if one does not belong to a particular group or a particular person who can promote one's interest within the GFA or the football fraternity one will never be put in the Black Stars, and that is the truth. We do not send our best players; we send footballers that we choose; footballers that we like. For instance, I do not see why after sending over 20 players to Cairo, one player is injured -- and everybody knows he is injured -- and yet they still field him for the full time. I am talking of Stephen Appiah.

Mr. Speaker, several teams withdrew

their captains when they realised that they were not performing to the optimum and yet we had a player who was injured in
Mr. Joe Baidoe-Ansah 11:20 a.m.
On a point
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for
Tamale North, that is a valid point, that he is not an honourable Member of this House.
Alhaji Abukari 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would
soon prove that it is a valid point because
I said,
“the rumour mills within the football circles has it …”
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
You are saying it is an
Alhaji Abukari 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is
not an allegation. Having been asked to withdraw and apologise, I would state categorically that the hon. Member for Effia Kwesimintsim told me personally that the coach was around there with a book - [Laugher.] He told me this. Mr. Speaker, I am most surprised he is saying this. I am very surprised he is saying this and that is why I said he should sit down and not let me reveal certain things. So please, the hon. Member should not let me go further than that. He told me this.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon.. Member for
Tamale North, is it an allegation?
Alhaji Abukari 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. He
Mr. Baidoe-Ansah 11:20 a.m.
On a point of
order. Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to be an hon. Member of this House and can react that what he said is nothing - I did not say such a thing to him. Mr. Speaker, I have not met him; I am meeting him for the first time in about two weeks, today in the House. So I think he is mistaking me to be someone else.
There have been occasions that the former hon. Kofi Asante had made statements that people have attributed to me. The last time, he made that mistake. I believe he is repeating the same mistake. I am not hon. Kofi Asante, I am hon. Joe
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Tamale North, you may be winding up.
Alhaji Abukari 11:20 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I believe that the hon. Majority Chief Whip made very, very valuable contribution to this Statement; in fact, I think that he ought to be drafted into the GFA. This is somebody with immense football consultation experience in East Africa. I am sure you were all surprised at the ease with which he was mentioning technocrats within football. He was a serious consultant, and I think that such people ought to be drafted into the GFA.
Mr. Speaker, I think that the Ministry of Education and Sports also ought to look at the GFA critically, especially when we are going on international assignments and see to it that the right people are sent there and they have no attachment to members of the political team that is leading them there, otherwise we would always send the wrong boys there and we would always do the wrong things.
Having said this, Mr. Speaker, let me also add that, to my mind, a player like Essien should not go to the World Cup for Ghana - [Hear! Hear!] People cannot hold this country to ransom. That guy was genuinely not ill; we all know it. We saw him on television three days after his alleged injury training -- they said “lightly” -- and this weekend we have seen him play. I have seen him with my naked eyes playing live football for 90 minutes. Mr. Speaker, we should not allow people to sell their country or to leave the service of their country to serve teams outside their country; we should
not allow them. People must be ready to sacrifice and die for this country. If they are not ready to do that, let us not put them in our battlefront.
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
At the Commencement of Public Business - item 4, Presentation of Bills.
Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may we seek your permission to permit the hon. Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning to lay items 4 and 5 for us.

PAPERS 11:20 a.m.

Mr. A. O. Aidooh 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, may
I move that we adjourn proceedings till tomorrow at 10.00 o'clock.
Mr. J. D. Mahama 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg
Mr. Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Hon. Member for Bole
Bamboi, if you were here early, you might have noticed that he was given permission to contribute on an earlier Statement.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:20 a.m.