Debates of 16 May 2007

PRAYERS 10 a.m.



Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Order! Order! Correction of Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 15th May, 2007.
Hon. Members, we do not have any
Official Report today. Item 3, Questions. Is the Minister for Communications in the House?
Majority Leader (Mr. Owusu- Adjapong) 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister for Communications has gone to represent this House outside Ghana and I crave your indulgence to allow his Deputy to answer those Questions.



Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Question number 629?
Mr. A. S. Sofo 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the Ministry for having accomplished the programme and will therefore beg your goodself to stand down the Question.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
You are now withdrawing the Question?
Mr. Sofo 10 a.m.
Yes, Mr. Speaker.

Sefwi-Akontombra (Telephone Services)

Q. 630. Mr. Herod Cobbina asked the Minister for Communications when telecommunication services would be extended to Sefwi-Akontombra.

Deputy Minister for Communications (Dr. Benjamin Aggrey Nt im) : Mr. Speaker, it is the Ministry of Communication's commitment to ensure that telephone services are provided to all parts of the country. With the improved enabling environment currently pertaining in the country and which is attracting invest-ments into the sector, telecom trans-mission as well as network capacity is expanding gradually to enable wider coverage for telecom services.

Ghana Telecom hopes to extend coverage to Sefwi-Akontombra and its surrounding communities by the fourth quarter of 2008.

Paga Border Area

(Telephone Facility)

Q. 756. Mr. Pele Abuga asked the Minister for Communications what steps the Ministry was taking to ensure that the Paga border area was provided with telephone facilities.
Dr. Ntim 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Ghana Telecom will provide Paga border area with very good quality telephone facilities by the second quarter of 2007, according to their programme.
Mr. Speaker, indeed I must state however, that there are already traces of
signals in Paga from Navrongo and some residents can enjoy voice services via fixed cellular telephony.
Mr. Speaker, Millicom Ghana Limited on its part would extend services to Paga and its surrounding areas by the end of July, 2007.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the august House that under the Universal Access to Telecommunications Project, Ghana Investment Fund for Telecom- munication (GIFTEL) has already commenced collaboration with Telecom Operators to provide a common telecom mast facility to extend telecom services to Paga and Chiana.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Minister mentioned in an earlier answer, and in this one that there are new telecommunication companies which have been attracted and he even mentioned Millicom Ghana Ltd. I want to find out how many telephone companies we have in the country today.
Mr. Speaker 10 a.m.
Deputy Minority Whip, I hope you will come back properly. This is not a supplementary question.
Mr. Alfred K. Agbesi 10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I
want to know from the hon. Minister if it is possible for hon. Members of this House to know the programme of Ghana Telecom as to the distribution of telephone facilities to other areas of the country.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member for Ashaiman, come properly.
Mr. Agbesi 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in an answer, the Minister said there was a programme

for Ghana Telecom to extend services to other areas throughout the country. My worry is to know from the Minister whether we can know that programme so that we fit into it.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
I hope you are not challenging the ruling.
Mr. Agbesi 10:10 a.m.
Very well, Mr. Speaker.
Alhaji Collins Dauda 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the Deputy Minister for Communications what he means by “good quality telephone facility”.
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, good quality telephone service means that when you make a call, you do not have it terminated at the point that you want to actually call. Furthermore, the quality of the voice on the system must also be perfect, and all these are provided by the quality of the band-wave. When you have these available then, indeed, you do have good quality.
The current situation is that sometimes, from time to time, the number of people that are using the system is on the higher side and the capacity is not able to take all that. Therefore, from time to time, you do have interferences. When we say quality, it is really the absence of interference.
Dr. Kunbuor 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer, he indicated that Paga will receive very good quality telephone services. By implication, there is very bad quality in other areas. What is his Ministry doing about that?
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
The Ministry's policy is to provide good quality service for all parts of the country.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister in his Answer gave an
indication that Paga will be provided with quality telephone services. I want to find out from the Minister from where, and from whom; because I am aware that the National Communications Authority has zoned the country into four to allow for some intervention in expanding fixed telephony to many of those areas, whether in relation to the Paga Question or to the other Question from Sefwi-Akotombra.
So if you say they will get quality service, are they to expect it from Ghana Telecom or from some other service provider that may be enabled to do that?
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, good quality telephony is to be provided by all the telecom companies, not just one.
Krachi East Constituency (Ghana
Telecom Fixed Line Services)
Q. 757. Mr. Wisdom Gidisu asked the Minister for Communications when the people of Krachi East constituency would enjoy Ghana Telecom fixed line telephone services.
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, here again, Ghana Telecom has planned to provide fixed line services to Krachi East by the second quarter of 2007. So very soon.
Mr. W. Gidisu 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the hon. Minister's Answer, like he just said, Ghana Telecom has planned to provide fixed line services to Krachi East, by the second quarter of 2007. I want to know from him what assurance he is giving this House and the people of Krachi East that by June, that is next month, these services would be extended to this area, since we are in May now and there is no sign of any extension.
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this answer is coming straight from Ghana Telecom and it is the programme that they have planned for the whole country; it is within
the context of that.
Maj. (Dr.) (Alhaji) Mustapha Ahmed (retd): Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the hon. Deputy Minister whether he has an idea about the cost, in terms of loss of revenue, that the country suffers due to the absence of telephone facilities, in one year.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, file the appropriate Question in due course.
Mr. Pele Abuga 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I want to know from the Minister what the policy is for extending fixed telephone facilities to all areas of the country.
Mr. Speaker 10:10 a.m.
Hon. Member, come properly.
Dadieso (One-Touch Mobile Service)
Q. 830. Mr. Ackah asked the Minister for Communications when Dadieso, the Suaman constituency capital and its environs would enjoy One-Touch mobile service.
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, Ghana Telecom mobile phone services have been planned for deployment in phases. In the case of Dadieso and its environs. One-Touch mobile services will reach them by the end of the last quarter of 2007 and in addition, fixed wireless telephony would be provided.
Mr. Stephen M. E. K. Ackah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Minister is telling the House that the programme has been deployed in phases. May he tell the House in which particular phase that the linkage of Dadieso is related.
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this phase is in fact within the last quarter of the phase for the 2007.
Mr. Ackah 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, will the Minister tell the House what he means by “the last quarter”, as in some places of the
previous answer, he says “fourth quarter”, while for others he says “last quarter”. Will he tell us what he means by the last quarter and specifically within that quarter when Dadieso is getting its service?
Dr. Ntim 10:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, “last quarter” means the last quarter of the year.
Akwasiase, Mabang, Mamfo, et cetera (Land-Line Telephone Services)
Q. 892. Mr. Kwame Owusu Frimpong asked the Minister for Communications what plans the Ministry had to extend land-line telephone (GT) services to Akwasiase, Mabang, Mamfo, Anyinasuso and other nearby communities.
Dr. Ntim 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member that it is Government's policy to provide access to modern telephone services across the length and breadth of the country. In this regard, Ghana Telecom has planned to provide landline services to Akwasiase, Mabang, Mamfo, Anyinasuso and other nearby communities by the first quarter of 2008.
Mr. Isaac Asiamah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in the meantime, would the Ministry consider providing the communities with GT pay- phone services?
Dr. Ntim 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, presently the programme is to provide landline services, and this issue he is raising will be subject to examination.
Mr. Charles Hodogbey 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
which one is his Ministry actually expanding, the landline service or cell phone technology?
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, this is not a supplementary question.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in an

earlier answer, the hon. Deputy Minister indicated that the provision of the service will be in phases. Is this also going to be in phases and if yes, how many phases?
Dr. Ntim 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I did not quite get the point. Are we referring to -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Deputy Minority
Whip, would you be kind enough to repeat?
Mr. E. T. Mensah 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, in an earlier answer, he indicated that the provision of the service will be in phases. And he also indicated that by the end of the first quarter of 2008, service will be provided to these towns. And I am asking whether that is going to be done in phases, and if yes, how many phases are we talking about?
Dr. Ntim 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, for all the towns I have mentioned, the services will be provided in the same phase, in other words, in the first quarter of 2008.
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I generally have a difficulty, with your permission, with the attitude of the hon. Deputy Minister towards the questions that are being asked. All of it has to do with the extension of telecom services to various parts of the country. He is aware that GT is not the only fixed line phone provider. Westel is government-owned and they do provide fixed lines.
This House wants to know a comprehensive policy direction. Per the Question that has been asked, what is the Government doing to secure telephone services for those areas? He is aware that His Excellency the President went to China to secure a loan for this purpose which may not necessary go to GT or Westel. We want to know from him what is being done for people to access telecommunication services, instead of he
just saying this will happen, and that will be happening. We need specific answers. He must take this House seriously.
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Hon. Member, I hope you will come properly to the House.
H o n . D e p u t y M i n i s t e r f o r Communications, thank you very much for appearing to answer these Questions.
STATEMENTS 10:20 a.m.

Mrs. Kusi 10:20 a.m.
So that she will be President -- [Interruptions.]
Mr. Speaker 10:20 a.m.
Order! Order!
Mrs. Kusi 10:20 a.m.
Madam Hawa Yakubu was the First National Vice-Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party. But on March 20, 2007 the angel of death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no mortal traveller returns, beckoned and suddenly struck and felled Hawa in far away London at the age of 59.
It is with a heavy heart that I rise to pay tribute to and engender a celebration of the
life of this celebrated woman. As a former Member of this House, she carved a niche for herself as one of the finest political juggernauts in the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic which she was elected to in 1993 as the only Independent Member of Parliament until she was later joined by hon. Achuliwor, another bulwark.
She earned the nickname the “Iron Lady” of Ghana for the sheer bravado she exhibited then when as the only Minority Member of Parliament, she had the sole responsibility and she discharged same with quintessential diligence and courage to hold the then Government accountable and to put it on its toes. She represented Bawku Central constituency then.
She lost the seat in the 1996 contest but bounced back in December 2000 and reclaimed the seat this time on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party. Unfortunately, she lost the seat again in the 2004 general elections.
Mr. Speaker, she will be remembered by many, particularly colleagues who were with her in the Consultative Assembly of 1991 for her untiring commitment and dedication to the struggle for the enthronement of true civilian democracy after the military intervention of December 31, 1981, which overthrew Dr. Hilla Limann's People National Party Government.
A champion of equal justice for men and women, she was entrenched in the pursuit to uplift the lot of Ghanaian women in particular and African women in general. That explains why she broke barriers to help all manner of women who were in need and did not allow religious, ethnic, status or political considerations to repress her. Pursuant that “good samaritanic” endeavour, she set up the Hawa Foundation, an NGO with the aim to enhance the capacity of women and
build more support for them. She was a populist figure whose presence could never be ignored by friends and foes alike.
Many in her own party did not agree with her methodology. Hawa in her steely determination plodded on and in many instances triumphed. When she joined the New Patriotic Party, she instantly became a very close ally of the party's flagbearer, Mr. J. A. Kufuor and was actively involved in the electioneering campaign of the party.
In recognition of her untiring efforts in that direction, hard work and perhaps her devotion to the cause of womenfolk, she was made a Minister for Tourism during the first stanza of President Kufuor administration.
Before her ministerial appointment, she had been nominated by her parliamentary leadership to the ECOWAS Parliament where she chaired the Transport and Communications Committee. The rules of ECOWAS Parliament provide that a Member of the Parliament cannot concurrently serve as a Minister of State and so when it came to the crunch, Hawa opted to avail her service to the wider community and accordingly stepped down as Ghana's Minister for Tourism.
Mr. Speaker, Madam Hawa Yakubu, who hailed from Pusiga in the Upper East Region, was born in Tarkwa in the Western Region. She was educated at Navrongo Secondary School in the Upper East Region and continued to Accra Polytechnic where she obtained a certificate in Institutional Management. Later in her life, indeed in 2006, as persistent and unrelenting as she was in everything that she put her mind to, she
obtained a Master's Degree in Leadership and Governance from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration
Madam Hawa Yakubu was modest, selfless and hardworking; her death is indeed a big loss to the New Patriotic Party in particular and the entire nation in general. She was beautiful in her youth, dignified in middle age and poignant in her final years.
In raising the dirge to celebrate the life and achievements of this never-to-be- forgotten lady, may I concurrently express my deepest condolences to her immediate and extended family but particularly her children, the New Patriotic Party and Ghanaians in general especially the womenfolk.
May her soul rest in the eternal glory of God.
Mr. Mahama Ayariga (NDC -- Bawku Central) 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, let me identify with the Statement that has been made by the hon. Member regarding my own predecessor, hon. Hawa Yakubu; except to begin by wishing that she did not begin the Statement from such a very partisan and divisive angle and present Hawa's life as a threat to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mr. Speaker, let me indicate that I am very convinced that the NDC found an antidote to Hawa long ago.
Mrs. Kusi 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I would wish the hon. Member to withdraw the statement that I began with a divisive and partisan issue.
Mr. Speaker, the women of Ghana
Mr. Speaker 10:30 a.m.
Let him go on.
Mr. Ayariga 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will follow your advice and ignore the statement.
Mr. Speaker, hon. Hawa Yakubu was such an astute politician; she represented Bawku Central constituency twice, first as an Independent Member of Parliament and then later as the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament.
Everybody in Bawku, at least, will agree with me on one issue; that she was a very nice person -- very generous, very sympathetic -- and I think that all of us in the constituency will remember her for those values. In terms of generosity, et cetera, she set very high standards and many of us have had to strive very hard to meet some of the standards that she set as a Member of Parliament.
We certainly will miss her and as my hon. Colleague said earlier on, there were some indications that she was going up in terms of national politics. I can say definitely, as an NDC member, that whilst I would have been happy to have her on the ticket of the NPP so that I would at least boast that a constituent of mine is contesting a presidential election either as a candidate or a flag-bearer, I am definitely convinced that she would have ended up only as a presidential candidate.
But at least, we in the constituency were looking forward to hon. Hawa Yakubu as the first female aspirant either as candidate or running mate contesting on the ticket of the NPP so that we could just boast with that. Beyond that, we are certainly aware that Prof. Evans John Atta Mills will be the next President -- [Hear! Hear!] -- and unfortunately, that would
not have permitted hon. Hawa Yakubu to advance beyond being a candidate.
But let me indicate that the people of Bawku Central want to thank the entire country for the way everybody mourned with us, especially to the State for granting her State burial. We also want to thank the entire country, especially all those who travelled to Pusiga to mourn with the family and the constituency and to assist us to bury the late hon. Hawa Yakubu.
We are very grateful. Let me assure
you that the people of Bawku Central will continue to remember hon. Hawa Yakubu and to remember you all for the support and encouragement that you gave us as a constituency during this very sad period.
In terms of the international exposure that she has given our constituency, we are very grateful. Indeed at a certain point in the politics of this country, Bawku Central became a household term largely because of the politics of hon. Hawa Yakubu. Of course, it is still a household term also because of my own politics. We the youth have been inspired a lot by her politics and the women have been supported and we will continue to remember this great person who lifted very high the name of our constituency.
Capt. N. Effah-Dartey (retd) (NPP -- Berekum): Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this Statement made by the hon. Member for Tarkwa Nsuaem (Mrs. Gifty Kusi).
Mr. Speaker, I was practising as a lawyer when I heard the name of Hawa Yakubu for the first time as an independent Member of Parliament for Bawku Central. I used to follow the proceedings of the House and she struck me as a very powerful contributer in Parliament.
Mr. Speaker, when by God's grace
I had the opportunity of coming to this House, I invited her in her capacity as the Minister for Tourism to visit Berekum, my constituency, and I was amazed at the way she readily accepted the invitation.
I remember the day that she and I travelled in her official car from her residence at Ridge at the time, all the way, at dawn, to Berekum; and she spent the whole day in Berekum, visiting the palace, visiting the training college, visiting various areas and interacting with the people. She commissioned the water project in Berekum and my people would never forget the constant smile on her face.
I do recall that when hon. Hawa Yakubu returned to the House from the Berekum trip, anytime she met me in this Chamber, she would always ask, “Captain, how is Berekum?” I was touched by the love she displayed for my constituency. Mr. Speaker, I was really disturbed when I heard of her demise.
Mr. Speaker, one thing I admired about hon. Hawa Yakubu was her resilient, fighting spirit. I remember when the NPP held our Congress at University of Ghana, Legon, I was there when I saw her all over the place campaigning seriously, even to the very dying minutes; and especially when she was called upon to say a few words before the voting took place, I noticed how she related with the audience.
Mr. Speaker, in losing hon. Hawa Yakubu, Ghana has really lost a gem. She was a Ghanaian through and through and she did not allow anything to be an impediment in her way. In fact, I believe many Ghanaians, especially women, have a lot to learn from the life of hon. Hawa Yakubu.
Mr. Speaker, I was also amazed at
the fact that given her age, over 50, she took the trouble to go to GIMPA to get a Master's degree in Governance and Leadership. For me what that meant was that education has no barrier in age and that no matter one's present age, one can aspire to higher levels in education. And so Mr. Speaker, I would urge fellow Ghanaians, especially women, to take a cue from the life of hon. Hawa Yakubu.
I join my colleagues in paying tribute
to her.
I travelled all the way to Pusiga to see her final resting place and as I was leaving Pusiga, especially after going to her house which she built herself, where she was laid in state for the wake-keeping, I was inspired. I wish her a perfect, everlasting resting place in the arms of the Lord.

Mr. Edward Kojo Salia (NDC -

Jirapa): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add a few words to the tribute so ably made by the hon. Member for Tarkwa-Nsuaem (Mrs. Gifty E. Kusi).

Mr. Speaker, I have not interacted with Madam Hawa Yakubu in New Patriotic Party (NPP) circles; I have known Madam Hawa Yakubu since the 1970s when she was the very capable Domestic Bursar of Navrongo Secondary School. Even in those days, her fighting spirit was legendary. She always talked for all schools.

In those days, I was the Managing Director of the Regional Development Corporation that handled essential commodities, and she always made a case for special treatment for the schools in view of the fact that those schools fed a lot of young people that needed most of the then essential commodities that were

in very short supply.

She was always a fighter but above everything, she was a human being. She was kind, selfless and I must say that she was somebody you could not afford to refuse anything she wanted because of her persistence and the way she made her request. It is unfortunate that we have had to lose her even at such a time that everybody was expecting her to go up the political ladder.

The controversy surrounding her death, particularly the causes, I must say, was regrettable. I am sorry that even though there were suspicions of poisoning and foul play, even if they were far-fetched or maybe were not substantiated, it is very typical in our country when people pass on that all sorts of allegations or suspicions are made about the causes of their death. All I can say is that if it were not the wish of the Almighty, Madam Hawa Yakubu would still have been with us. So we console ourselves in her life.

She actually laid a foundation particularly for women in politics. She was not the first Northern woman to enter politics but definitely she worked beyond the achievement of the past women politicians like Madam Lydia Kambadipo and Madam Ramatu in the early days of our country's political emancipation.

I am also certain that maybe if she had continued, she might have even gone beyond the achievements of Madam Susana Alhassan who reached the status of a Member of the Council of State. I do not see any reason why Madam Hawa could not have won the presidential nomination of the NPP because she both had the capacity, the connection and she had the drive to be nominated as the NPP presidential candidate.

Whose knows? Maybe, only maybe, she might have had the fighting chance for the presidency. It is unfortunate it did not happen but let us hope that those she inspired, the foundation she laid would encourage other capable and competent women to rise up to the occasion. All we can do at this point is to wish her a peaceful repose in the bosom of the Lord.

For those of us who managed to get to Pusiga, the over-pouring of grief was evident. I had expected to see a lot more people than I saw there but maybe as it is typical, excuses might have been made for the distance. But I think that she really deserved bigger attendance by some of our Colleagues to see her at her final resting place. This did not happen. Let us hope that there would be no more opportunity for us to make excuses in the future.

Minister for Women and Children's

Affairs (Hajia Alima Mahama): Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the Statement which is a tribute to the late Madam Hawa Yakubu.

Mr. Speaker, no individual, no party

could have found an antidote to Hawa's resilience, strength and commitment. We all know that Hawa had the bouncing spirit and she always bounced back at any point in time. It was only the icy hands of death that could stop that resilience, that strength and that energy.

Mr. Speaker, Ghanaians were shocked and shattered at the announcement of the demise of Madam Hawa Yakubu. People who were at the airport to receive her body all broke down in tears. I was amazed to see the number of men and women, boys and girls who were there at the airport to receive Hawa, and then followed up to the forecourt of the Parliament House.

People from all walks of life thronged the forecourt of Parliament House to mourn Hawa Yakubu. Contrary to what

my hon. Colleague has said, I was in Pusiga and the number of people that came to Pusiga was quite impressive. People from all over the regions of this country were in Pusiga to say farewell to Hawa Yakubu.

For many of us, Hawa was a big sister. For many men and women in Ghana, she would refer to you as “my brother” or “my sister” Personally, she was a sister to me and as many women in the country would testify, she encouraged many of us to join politics and actually stand for elections to become Members of Parliament. I know there are a number of women here who would all testify to the role Hawa played in encouraging us contest elections.

Not only did she encourage us, she stormed our constituencies to help us in our campaigns to make sure that we actually won and came to Parliament. I have no doubt that if Hawa had lived beyond 2008, the number of women in Ghana's Parliament would have increased because she would have continued to encourage and support women to run for elections.

Her generosity and her selflessness have been mentioned. Hawa was committed to supporting the poor and the vulnerable. She paid school fees for so many children across the country. She was from the northern part of Ghana but we can all testify that she had children all over the ten regions of Ghana. She supported women and children and young men all over the regions of the country.

She stood for the poor and the vulnerable and her commitment to see to the development not only of her constituency but the whole of northern Ghana should also be acknowledged, and I do acknowledge that.

Hawa Yakubu provided skills training

and empowerment for a number of women as well. Even from her own resources she would support women with capital to start their businesses. She believed in gender equality and women's empowerment. As a tribute to Hawa Yakubu, I would like to call on all Ghanaians, men and women who believe in the principle of gender equality and women's empowerment to work assiduously to ensure that that dream is brought into reality. This would be a testimony to her.

Indeed, on the day of Hawa's funeral at the forecourt of Parliament, we were all here mourning and crying, when a friend of mine asked me if I was going to the office and I said no, I was not going to office today; I was going home to rest because I just wanted to be alone. Someone gave me a lift because I just wanted to go and lie in bed and be by myself.
Mr. Mahama Ayariga 10:50 a.m.
On a point of
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Let her continue with
her contribution.
Mr. Speaker 10:50 a.m.

Hajia Mahama: Mr. Speaker, the hon. Member is my son, so he should behave well.

Mr. Speaker, indeed, on that day I was

amazed at the work of the Almighty God. I said, the Lord puts tears in our eyes when he chooses and he can at the same time replace those tears with smiles when he chooses. In fact, she fought for the Domestic Violence Bill and she continued encouraging us to push to get the Bill passed. This very day we are mourning a woman and in tears ,the Domestic Violence Bill is being signed and it put a smile on my face.

To me, the coincidence was an amazement and I said this is Hawa; even in death she was able to work out things to put smiles on our faces and that was what Hawa lived for. I could believe that her spirit was around and it was moving us.

Mr. Speaker, you will agree with me that Hawa was such a strong and outstanding woman, indeed an outstanding personality in Ghana who the women of Ghana have lost. If the women of Ghana could do anything to keep Hawa alive, we would have done so but we all know that when it is your time and the Almighty God calls you, there is nothing you can do; you have to go.

We say Hawa, farewell; rest in perfect

peace. We all came out to mourn you and for us the women and children and men too who believe in the principle of gender equality will keep aflame her principles and what she stood for. And for the women of Ghana, let us see more of them standing for elections to get into Parliament so that what Hawa stood for and fought for will not be lost.

Big sister, farewell. Naa mal ting ki doni.

Mr. Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC --

Wa West): Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to pay tribute to a lady with a very generous heart and somebody who I remember very clearly as an effective domestic bursar of the Navrongo Secondary School. Not only was she effective but one did not know who was the headmaster and who was the domestic bursar.

This is because virtually all the problems of the school, when they needed solution and sharp one for that matter, Hawa had to be part of it. And this was the woman whom we have all heaped praises on, upon her death.

Beyond all the good things that we

have said, I think that we should look at Hawa from different perspectives and one of them is that the women will be crying, the children will be crying, so what are they going to do in honour of Hawa? The women politicians also will be crying. What do we, as politicians, have to do in her honour? And of course, having attained this international image, what are we going to do as a country for her beyond just pouring out these and attending the funeral?

Her body is buried but her ideas, the principles she stood for should continue to live. Therefore, I want to suggest that all those people who are aggrieved and who consider her death a loss, all those who are concerned must put their heads together for us either to support the Hawa Foundation, which she established, or set up something in her memory to remember her always.

I again will urge that we should take

inspiration from her life. We should all be inspired and see her death not only as a loss but as celebrating a woman of a difference, a woman who, for all times, will be remembered for what she stood for.

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the

opportunity to contribute to this tribute.
Minister for Energy (Mr. J. K. Adda) 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge the late hon. Hawa Yakubu as an honorary citizen of Navrongo.
Mr. Speaker, her political achievements in Ghana, in West Africa, and indeed, globally, have been acknowledged in the tributes that have been paid to her but very little has been said about what Hawa Yakubu had done in Navrongo.
Indeed, it is important for me to make
this contribution because in a way it was Navrongo that shaped her life. She spent nearly half of her life in Navrongo. She attended secondary school in Navrongo and ended up becoming the domestic bursar of the Navrongo Secondary School, and later got into business in Navrongo.
Politically, Mr. Speaker, the late Hawa
Yakubu could never disassociate herself from events in Navrongo. She came in and supported members of her party, particularly the late hon. John Achuliwor and all other political activities that took place in the constituency that were part of her party's activities in the district.
Mr. Speaker, in Navrongo, Hawa
Yakubu supported many people. Where there were no jobs in the secondary school, she brought in poor women from the villages even to work as casual workers in the kitchen and she took it upon herself to support them financially until they were eventually taken as permanent staff.
For the needy students , Hawa accommodated them in her house, fed them, and paid some of their fees. For some of the poorer women who could not
get jobs in the school, she supported them with sewing machines and tried to help them set up certain businesses.
Mr. Speaker, Hawa Yakubu's
contribution to the development of Navrongo cannot be overlooked. And indeed, when they write the political history of Navrongo, her name cannot be missed.
Mr. Speaker, from my secondary school
days to my political life today, I have never refused to be a strong supporter of Hawa Yakubu. And indeed, in the early 1990s when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was sure to come in actively and take over power, Hawa Yakubu featured so prominently that some of us went round lobbying for her and when it came to 2000 some of us were even supporting her to become the vice-presidential candidate. That is how much some of us really loved her.

Rather unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, when I showed up on the political landscape of Navrongo, the late Hawa Yakubu did not support me. But that did not make me overlook all the good things she did in my constituency.

Mr. Speaker, as I speak today, I commit to setting up a memorial in her honour in Navrongo for the work that she has done and to recognize her as an honorary citizen of Navrongo. I intend to adopt one of the Halls in one of the tertiary institutions to name it after Hawa and to see what sort of funds can be set up to help poor women in Navrongo.

Mr. Speaker, the death of Hawa Yakubu will be a loss not only to Ghana, not only to Bawku but a loss to Navrongo and I bid her farewell.

Mr. Haruna Iddrisu (NDC -- Tamale

South): Mr. Speaker, thank you very much
Minister for Energy (Mr. J. K. Adda) 11:10 a.m.
indeed for the unpleasant opportunity to associate myself with earlier attempts by hon. Members of Parliament to eulogize one of our own except that it has become part of our tradition and culture in Ghana that it is only when you get into the bosom of your Maker that we begin to recognize your contributions to humanity.
I do hope that her death would guide us in recognizing the sacrifices of our women and men who in diverse ways are contributing -- Mr. Speaker, a remarkable thing happened at Pusiga, I had the opportunity to be at the procession leading to the burial and indeed the attendance reflected, one, that she was not necessarily partisan.
Indeed on the side of the NDC was no mean a person than Prof. J. E. A. Mills, accompanied by stalwarts in the NDC like Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni and several of our Members of Parliament, including hon. Edward Salia. Also the Vice President led a powerful delegation of Government, which included the hon. Minister for Manpower, Youth and Employment, hon. Minister for Energy and many of the presidential aspirants.
Mr. Speaker, in paying tribute, I just want to recognize Hawa for an important thing that I want her to be remembered for. She had a compassion and a strong faith for the development of the under developed northern parts of Ghana.
Indeed, all along in her life, one of the legacy that she wanted to leave behind was to be able to draw Government's attention to bridging the poverty and underdevelopment gaps between the north and -- I think that it is important that as we pay tribute to her, many of us would still join that struggle because we have a
very sharp dichotomy in the development patterns of the country between the developed south and the underdeveloped north where poverty is still a problem, accessing healthcare and education is still problematic.
Mr. Speaker, one of the other important issues was that she was interested in the sustenance of multiparty democracy regardless of where she found herself, whether on this floor or elsewhere. Indeed, I have no doubt in my mind that but for what happened in 2004 she possibly could have been even the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament or the Pan African Parliament. I do remember that it was one of the quiet ambitions she might have nursed within her. Unfortunately, death laid its icy hands on her.
But the significant thing is that I remember even during the 2004 elections anytime she had problems and thought that there were difficulties in Bawku that could undermine the peace and stability of the area, she knew I was very close to hon. Mahama Ayariga so she would call and say, “Haruna, can you speak to your brother”?. I remember this and in paying tribute I think it is important. All she wanted was that let the ground be peaceful, let us have a contest and let us see who would emerge.
Mr. Speaker, she was also a very generous politician across board. I am sure within the Ghanaian public many other people would recognize that her generosity knew no partisan colours. Once you were in need and you could get closer to her she was very supportive of many people and I think that it is important that today -- She was a tower of strength to the New Patriotic Party.
I am sure that many of their female Members of Parliament would recognize
her contribution toward the period leading to 2004. Indeed, one of my uncomfortable moments as a field operative of the NDC was that anytime there was a dialogue between Dan Botwe and Hawa Yakubu in the field, it sent waverers for us to want to monitor what was going to happen next because in many of the bye-elections that we took part in, we monitored each other very effectively to see who was doing what at what point in time. And I think it is important that we do that.
Mr. Speaker, I want to be very brief.
I think that Ghana has lost a significant political actor and player; our gender evolutional pushers have lost an important actor and player, the Ghanaian public has lost a very generous woman and mother. I thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Minister for Water Resources, Works
and Housing (Mr. Hackman Owusu- Agyemang): Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. A lot has been said but I just want to add my voice posthumously as we celebrate the life of one of the most distinguished Ghanaian lady politicians. Sometimes, the word “lady” is underscored. But to me whichever way you look at it, Hawa was a politician par excellence and Hawa was a politician who held her own against the men even in her situation where she was by herself.
I had the privilege of working with her when I was in opposition. And I remember very well when we were in Akosombo with Jendayi Frazer who is now the Assistant Secretary of State in the United States of America. And what Hawa said was that whatever is good for Ghana is what we should all strive for. Indeed, she called most of us darling and everybody was her darling.
Quite apart from that, as has been
demonstrated, she was also a mother- figure for everybody -- she was quite motherly and worked assiduously for the integration of West Africa and eventually for the continent.
When she was Minister for Tourism I went with her to Morocco and her passion was how to develop tourism to the level that the Moroccans have done. Indeed she went out of her way to make sure that we secured scholarships for Ghanaians to study tourism in Morocco. By any standard, Hawa was a patriot and delivered whatever she had effectively. She was also very principled to the extent that she had to forego her ministerial appointment so that she could pursue an aspect of our integration process, which was dear to her heart.
Mr. Speaker, it is exciting that both sides of the House, her passing away notwithstanding, have had positive things to say about this lady. It was not for nothing that they called her the “Iron Lady”.
The Iron Lady indeed has left her mark on the political landscape of this country and in joining everybody in paying tribute to her, I would like to hope that she would be remembered for what she stood for and that those of us who were also close to her would also fondly remember her. Some of us would associate ourselves with whatever enterprise, whatever initiative has been started to immortalize her memory.

I would have said I would do something -- but there is no need to have a birth of oral initiatives. For whatever initiatives that are going on, we would definitely associate ourselves with it and we would forever remember her as a distinguished Member of this House.

Let me use this opportunity, Mr.
Mr. Speaker 11:10 a.m.
At the Commencement
of Public Business, item (5) Committee Sittings.
Mrs. Gifty E. Kusi 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, without much ado, I beg to move that this House do adjourn till tomorrow Thursday at 10.00 a.m. so that we can leave.
Mr. E. T. Mensah 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I beg
to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
ADJOURNMENT 11:10 a.m.