Debates of 26 Aug 2009

PRAYERS 10:40 a.m.


Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Hon Members, Correction of Votes and Proceedings. We will start with that of Thursday, 16th July, 2009 as we agreed upon yesterday.
Page 1 … 30 --
Prof. (Emeritus) S. K. Amoako 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, sorry to take you back to page
8 --
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako 10:40 a.m.
Page 8.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako 10:40 a.m.
Something very minor but I think as a parliamentary document, it has to be set right. Number 8, under (a), “By the Minister for Women and Childrens Affairs”, there must be an apostrophe before the “s”.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well,
the Table Office to take note.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu - rose
-- 10:40 a.m.

Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Minority Leader?
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I was not really following but I believe there is a minor error on page 21. I think we were considering the Votes and Proceedings for Thursday, 16th July, 2009. That being the case, the adjournment could not have been “till Thursday next at ten o'clock in the forenoon”, it must be Friday. Page 21 - “Adjournment”, I should think that it should read “Friday” and not “Thursday”.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Minority Leader, I am not with you, I am not getting you.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 10:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker,
item number 25 - “ADJOURNMENT. And it being half past six o'clock p.m., the House was adjourned till Thursday next at ten o'clock in the forenoon”. I was just saying that since we are considering Thursday's , it should read “Friday”.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Very well.
Yes, it is true.
Hon Members , the Votes and
Proceedings of Thursday, 16th July, 2009; as corrected is adopted as the true record of proceedings.
Hon Members, let us move on to Votes
and Proceedings of Friday, 17th July, 2009. Page 1 … 20 -
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:40 a.m.
Yes, Hon
Minister for Communications?
Mr. Haruna Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 20 under motion 28, €11,669,596. The two zeroes there are lost and if you would indulge me, I could just run through one or two other pages that I think we need to make some corrections.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Is there a problem?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
Yes. The “00” must be added, particularly juxtaposed against page 21 where the same figure is repeated with “00”. It is important.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
So the other ones are consequential?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
Not necessarily.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Does it apply to page 21 too?
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
That has been done correctly.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Page 21
… 27
Mr. Justice Joe Appiah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 27 (ix), my name is still wrongly spelt “Joe Justice Appiah”. It is “Justice Joe Appiah”.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
The Votes and Proceedings of which date are you correcting? We have finished with 16th July and we are on 17th July.
Mr. Justice Joe Appiah 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I apologise.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Hon Members, we are done with 16th July and we are on 17th July. Page 28 … 37 -
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 37, under “Attendance, (v), Casiel Ato Forson”, an ‘s' is lost in the spelling of that name. His “Forson” bears double ‘s'.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Page 38 -
fMr. H. Iddrisu: Mr. Speaker, page 38, paragraph 5, “In Attendance, Mr. Edem Asimah”, Mr. Speaker, the “Simon” is lost. It should be “Mr. Edem Simon
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Page 39.
. . 41 -
Mr. H. Iddrisu 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 41 under “Attendance”, “Mr. Iddrisu Abdel- Karim”. The “e” after the “d” should be substituted with “u”.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto 10:50 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, under item 2 (vi), my name has been mixed up. It is “Owusu Afriyie Akoto” and not “Owusu Akoto Afriyie”.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 10:50 a.m.
Page 42
. . .47.
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to take you back to page 42, the last paragraph under (1). I am still confused about who this person is, “The Chairman of Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs”. Is that a joint committee or what? It is not clearly stated. The last two lines under (1).
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
It is not a joint committee.
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, at the top, it is said it is a joint committee but here, I do not know whether it is the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Normally, when we have a joint committee, the practice is that one of the Chairmen presides.
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the joint committee?
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Yes, one
of the Chairmen presides over the joint committee.
Prof. (Emeritus) Amoako 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is very ambiguous, it is not clear to me.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
When the referral is to the joint committee, normally, one of the Chairmen of the committees presides over it. But when the report comes out, it is signed by both Chairmen.
Hon Members , the Votes and Proceedings of Friday, 17th July, 2009 as corrected be adopted as the true record of proceedings for that day.
We now move to Tuesday 25th August, 2009, that is, Votes and Proceedings of yesterday. Page 1. . . 5 -
Mr. Samuel Ayeh-Paye 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, page 5, paragraph 3, item 10, I was in the House yesterday and I did sign but I have been marked absent.
Mrs. Elizabeth K. T. Sackey 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I stand here as a lady, well dressed in cloth but my name has been written here as “Sackey, Elizabeth K. T. Mr.” [Laughter.] Mr. Speaker, please, do let them correct it.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Page 6
. . .8.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, at page 8, number 14, you have there recorded, that this Honourable House approved a motion. Now, if you look at Standing Order 81, it reads with your permission that:
“Unless otherwise provided in these Orders, every motion unless made at the Second Reading or Consideration Stage of a Bill, must be seconded, and if not seconded shall not be debated or entered in
the Votes and Proceedings.” So it was not seconded yesterday for a
good reason. I do not know if there is a precedent in this House, or if there is any other rule apart from Order 81, otherwise, it means that entering it at 14 on page 8 is an infringement of Order 81. Whether you second it or not, it is neither here nor there, but for it to enter the Votes and Proceedings, Order 81 is very clear on it. So I would like your guidance.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11 a.m.
Hon Member, when a motion for the adoption of a financial policy and the budget is moved, it is not seconded that day. You do not second that motion that day, yet we do not delete it from the Votes and Proceedings. And so with regard to financial procedure, there is a specific provision in our Standing Orders dealing with that particular motion.
Therefore, we have to look at the whole Standing Orders and to interpret - Be as it may, the Votes and Proceedings recorded only what happened yesterday. And if it is a question of you saying it should be deleted because it has not been seconded, if that is the point being made, well, all over, I have never seen it being deleted when a debate on a financial policy is moved. If you have a precedent, then you may guide me, you may bring that Votes and Proceedings to guide the House accordingly so that the Table Office will take note.
I have never come across it, so that the Table Office will be duly guided. I have never come across any precedent where the Minister comes and moves a motion on a financial policy or supplementary estimates in the same spirit which is guided by the same rules and the following day, we do not see it in the Votes and Proceedings.
Mr. Dery 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I actually
asked to be guided. Order 81 is clear. If you say that it has always been the case, I do not think that doing a wrong thing a million times makes it right, except that we can show an Order within the Standing Orders supporting that. Otherwise, we may have to be guided when it comes to revising our Standing Orders to ensure that we expressly put it there. I see my learned Hon Brother on the other side -- maybe, there is an Order, but in the absence of an Order, I do not think we doing the wrong thing several times makes it right.
So I will want guidance on that.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the concerns of my senior learned Colleague and rightly as you ruled yesterday, Order 149 reads and with your permission, I quote:
“Supplementary Estimates shall be regulated by the same procedure as is provided for in these Orders for the Budget.”
We may have to tie it in with Order 140 (3) and with your indulgence, I will read the first phase:
“ . . . has been moved by the Minister responsible for Finance, the debate on it shall stand adjourned for not less than three days.”
So if you come to the Supplementary Estimates, we naturally could not proceed on it on the basis of debate because of the provisions of Order 140 (3), the concluding part of it. But once the motion is moved, action is suspended on it at least, for three days.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Member, you have made the point. Let me hear from the Minority Leader and the Majority Leader on this matter. Your point is very very clear. I understood your point. The position you are taking, which is supported by Order 81 is that once it is not seconded, it should not appear in the Votes and Proceedings. That is the point that you are making.
Mr. Dery 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Deputy Minority Leader, do not be so much worried. I have listened to your submission. I have looked at Order 81. So do not worry. I have not yet made a ruling. Do not worry at all - [Laughter] - You should have been worried if I had made a ruling on the submission made by the Minister for Communications, then it
is then that you will get up again to make submissions. Do not worry.
Mr. H. Iddrisu 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we may
have to read Order 81 in conjunction with Order 34, particularly Order 34 (1) and with your indulgence, I beg to read:
“The Minutes of the proceedings of Parliament called Votes and Proceedings shall be a record of the attendance of Members at each Sitting and all decisions of Parliament and shall be kept by the Clerk. The Votes and Proceedings shall be printed and shall be the Journals of the House.
Now 34 (2):
“An Official Report, entitled Parliamentary Debates . . .”
that is specific on Parliamentary Debates. So Order 34 (1) -- We will have to reconcile the two of them.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is an exercise in futility to attempt to justify it vis a vis the Standing Orders. In the past, we had always recorded it. So it has come by way of tradition. Just say that and let us move forward. Do not try to defend it in any other way. There is no other way of defending it apart from saying that in the past -- and all the time that I have been here, we have recorded it. So by convention and then we move on.
There is no way we can try and legally defend it -- you will fail in that exercise and everybody will fail. So Mr. Speaker, let us move forward by saying that it is the convention, the tradition of the House and we move on. That is all.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that technically, the Deputy Minority Leader is right
and I believe the Hon Minister for Communications who is about exiting the Chamber was not really minded to miscommunicate. Really, if you want to be technical as I said, then my Colleague, the Deputy Minority Leader is right but it is only true the point being canvassed by the Hon Member for New Juaben North.
Mr. Speaker, motions at Second Reading of Bills are usually not seconded but they are recorded in the Votes and Proceedings. Again, at Consideration Stage, motions which are moved are not necessarily seconded but they are recorded in the Votes and Proceedings. So that indeed, is the emerging convention.
Perhaps, if we come to reviewing the Standing Orders, we may have to look at it. But that indeed, is the emerging convention, it cannot be justified on any technical ground. So Mr. Speaker, I believe we can move on.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Bagbin 11:10 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I believe the technical position has been well expatiated and in fact, in trying to iron out the procedure for yesterday, we ourselves acknowled-ged the inadequacy of the provisions of the Standing Orders, and we noted it down and we stated that at the review workshop, we would take note and make sure that we iron out the details for the guidance of the House. So technically, he is right.
Thank you very much.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Yes, I
agree with the sentiments expressed by the Hon Deputy Minority Leader on this matter. I think that it is a decision for the House whether to go by our practices and conventions or we should be technical with Standing Order 81. That is a matter the House as a House must look at.
Hon Members, thank you very much for your - Let us proceed.
Page 9 --
Dr. Osei 11:10 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, this Parliament,
we do not have to be afflicted by the sins of the previous Parliament. So we just want to emphasize that this particular Parliament wants pure application of our House's Orders. If those from the Mugabe days have made a mistake, we the young men and women here want to do things the proper way. So, please --
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
I, at times admire your submissions when it comes to financial matters because you are completely reformed, sitting at that side of the House - [Laughter.]
Hon Members, let us make progress. Page 9. [Interruptions] -- Hon Members, Order. Page 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 --
Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio 11:10 a.m.
Hon Speaker, on page 9, my name has been misspelt. It has been written “Mr. Binito”. It is not Binito. It is “Benito Owusu-Bio”, an ‘e' not an ‘i'.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:10 a.m.
Very well.
Mr. Alfred W.G. Abayateye 11:10 a.m.
Mr Speaker, at page 9, my name has been wrongly spelt. It is not ‘e' after the ‘y'. It is ‘a'. The same has been recorded on page 11. And then on page 11, “In Attendance”, it has been written “Mr. Anthony Tsekpo, Parliamentary Centre”. It should be “Dr. Anthony Tsekpo” and not “Mr.”
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Pages 12,. 13,14 - [Interruption.]
Mr. Yaw Ntow-Ababio 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, if I may take you a little back to page 9, you will realize that there was a Public Sitting of the Public Accounts Committee on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but it was not reported. On Friday, the Public Accounts Committee again sat in camera but it was not reported. But the Sitting of the Committee yesterday was reported. So it means that they are either mixing the date or they forgot at the Table Office. If not, then the Sitting yesterday should not have been captured. So I think that the Table Office must do the correct thing.
Thank you.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Very well, we will take note of that.

Hon Members , the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, 25th August, 2009 as corrected is hereby adopted as the true record of proceedings.

Hon Members, I have been informed by

the Clerks that we have about six Official Reports to be corrected and for us to do a proper correction of them , I will give you the dates so that at the next opportunity, you will be able to - I doubt how many of us here have the Official Reports here. That of Monday, 13th July, 2009, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th July 2009 and that of yesterday, Tuesday, 25th August 2009. So my suggestion is that we take this matter maybe, on Friday when we come here so that everybody will get his or her Official Reports ready so that we can take them.

Hon Members, we now move to Statements. We have a Statement standing

in the name of Hon Gifty Eugenia Kusi, Deputy Minority Whip and it is a tribute to our departed Colleague, Hon Doris A. Seidu.
STATEMENTS 11:20 a.m.

Mrs. Gifty Eugenia Kusi (NPP - Tarkwa-Nsuaem) 11:20 a.m.
“We are such stuff as dreams are made of and our little lives are rounded off in sleep” -- Shakespeare in Hamlet.
Mr. Speaker, the political woodland of the New Patriotic Party has lost another of its mighty trees. A gaping hole has been left in NPP, in Parliament and in the Chereponi Constituency. This is because a heroine has fallen! An otherwise calm individual who had had her constituency at heart and fought for its development has had to put down her working gear because the Almighty has beckoned.
Born on March 18, 1969, she obtained Teachers “A” Certificate in 1993 after which she taught as a teacher until she entered Parliament in 2005. That same year, she enrolled at the Islamic University of Ghana in Accra to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management, a course which was still ongoing before her untimely death.
Hon Doris Seidu, whither should your people go? She had to come into politics because by her very nature, she was seen as the people's woman. She was selfless and struggled to ensure that her people got a fair share of the resources available in mother Ghana. She therefore left no stone unturned to ensure victory in 2005 for the Party in her constituency. She fought bravely and tirelessly even when
her detractors never wanted to give her the chance.
However, in the end, her tenacity and courage brought victory to her which eventually earned her the accolade “Tiger Lady”.
On the 1st of August, 2009, we were shocked to hear the news of her departure to the world beyond. Even though we were aware of her sickness, we never expected it will result in her death because, at her house two weeks before, she looked well and cheerful as usual. This has made us to admire her as a great fighter who fought to the end. Doris died a brave woman and we, her Colleagues in Parliament are very proud of her.
As women Parliamentarians, we acknowledge the pains she had gone through for the past five years, to bring joy to the children, women and men in her constituency. She was a catalyst ordained by the Almighty to make all equation to balance for them. With her as their Member of Parliament, she facilitated a lot of developmental projects including, electrification, schools and clinics and also gave a lot of scholarships to brilliant and needy students. What a loss. Her untimely exit would tell on all, especially on these students.
In her early days as a teacher in her district, she brought hope to her people through her association with non- governmental organizations.
She was the first female Member of Parliament for her constituency, a position only courageous women of her type could achieve. So on 7th January, 2005, when she was counted among the 25 female Members of Parliament in Ghana's Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic and again among the 20 female Members of Parliament of the Fifth and current
Parliament, it confirmed the fact that she was a very special person.
We will forever remember her as a cool but firm individual who has struggled to add her name to the annals of the Republic of Ghana.
We say fare thee well, our Colleague and Sister
Fare thee well brave woman
Fare thee well the mother of the needy
Fare thee well “Tiger Lady”
May her soul rest in perfect peace!
Minister for Tourism (Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah) 11:20 a.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the tribute or Statement concerning the sad demise of our Colleague, Hon (Mrs.) Doris Seidu.
Mrs. Doris Seidu as I knew her from the time we came to Parliament together, the last Parliament, was very quiet but I also saw that she went about her work diligently and I believe it was for her diligence that was why her constituents voted her back into Parliament for the second time, especially as a caring woman parliamentarian.
In actual fact, Mr. Speaker, if you look at the other side of the divide, you will see that all our Colleagues are in black today. We were all in Parliament yesterday and I thought they should have informed all of us to participate. I do not think the death of a Colleague should be politicised. Some of us were not around when they had to take her to her constituency, so our last respect we could give her is to take part in the black cloth that they have put on today

11. 30 a.m.
Mr. Frederick Opare-Ansah 11:20 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, I believe we were all present in this Chamber yesterday when your goodself gave an indication that due to the nature of business yesterday, you preferred that we took this particular Statement today. And I believe some Members in the House took a cue from that and decided that it would be appropriate to be in black, if we were going to take it today.
So for my Colleague opposite to impugn that somebody is politicizing the death of our dear sister, she must understand that if, indeed, this Statement had been read yesterday, nobody would have been in black. So it is totally wrong for her to try to impute improper motive to this and I think she must withdraw and then continue.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:20 a.m.
Minister, what the Minority Chief Whip said is true and so you should take account of that in your submission.
Mrs. Azumah-Mensah 11:20 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I only wanted to be part of the black that they are wearing and to show my respect to our departed sister whom we are all mourning seriously.
Mr. Speaker, I believe the passing
away of our dear sister has definitely created a big vacuum in Parliament in general, as well as in the women's caucus in particular. Let us hope that during the by-election in Chereponi, the constituents of Chereponi would vote another woman into her seat so that she can come and add up to our numbers back in Parliament and also fill the vacancy that she has created in the women's caucus.
We can only wish her a peaceful rest
Mrs. Azumah-Mensah 11:20 a.m.

and send our condolences to her family and children.

On this note, I thank you very much Mr. Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to say something on behalf of the rest of our Colleague Members on this side.
Mrs. A. F. Osei 11:20 a.m.

Ayawaso West Wuogon): Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise to contribute to the Statement that has been made by Hon Gifty Kusi.

Mr. Speaker, I met Hon Doris Seidu in May, 1998 when I took appointment as the Country Director for Action Aid. And in deciding where to go first, I asked my colleagues which area was the most deprived where Action Aid was working, and without any debate, Chereponi was the place selected.

So I decided to make Chereponi my first point of call, and when I arrived there, Doris was a member of the able team that was working hard in very very difficult conditions to improve the lot of their people.

I knew her as an able community mobilizer, I knew her as somebody who fought for women's rights. I also knew her as somebody who beyond the work that Action Aid does, associated herself with other interested members of the community to advocate for the empowerment of women. It was through this that when we had to do a restructuring exercise for Action Aid at the time to use more local partners rather than Action Aid, then as an international organization rather than doing direct implementation, looked for local organizations to empower them. It was through that process that Yetibu was formalized and partnered with Action Aid to deliver development activities to the

people of Chereponi.

She did very well in steering as the Co- ordinator for Yetibu in really delivering work around training of women both in skills training as well as other social skills.

Mr. Speaker, in 2004, when I was

struggling to even get a parliamentary nomination, I got a call from Doris. She said, “Maa, I am also struggling in Chereponi.” I was quite surprised because I had not heard any wind of what was going on in Chereponi at all.

However, she won the election and it is commendable that given the terrain that I know, that as a development worker and as a younger person, the people of Chereponi decided to give her the opportunity and she never ever forgot that. In fact, there were times I commented , “I see you everywhere I go.” If I went to a Ministry, I can bump into Doris. She said, “you know where I come from, our people are poor and it is my job to look for projects and programmes for them.”

In her last days, Mr. Speaker, just like the Hon Member who made the Statement said, we had visited her and thought she was on the path of recovery. But it was with great shock that on Friday, I got a call from Hon Nana Addo-Dankwa Akuffo- Addo that Doris was in hospital and that her condition was very grave.

It was a shock as I have said because we had seen her two weeks ago and I thought she was recovering in the house. When I got there at 10.00 p.m. on Friday, I saw her in a very difficult situation and two doctors were attending to her. However, Mr. Speaker, Doris struggled in those last days to say something to me. So I left the hospital a quarter to twelve midnight feeling that she was on the path of recovery. My understanding is that

thirty minutes or so after I left, she took a turn for the worse.

But I must say that what I have learnt from my association all these years with Doris indicate that she was a woman of purpose, that she was not a complainant. Even in her last struggling days of health and challenges in her constituency, she struggled on to the very end.

Her example is one that should be followed by a lot of women in deprived areas so that they can feel that even in that difficult situation, you can do something for your community.

I commend the people of Chereponi for investing their confidence in her, I commend her Party executives when during the time that she had been ill made sure that things moved on.

The challenge for the people of Chereponi is to look for somebody who will have them at heart above all other means.

I must lastly also commend our

Colleagues from Parliament on both sides for the very show of solidarity both in Accra here to see the body off, at meeting the body in Tamale and finally laying her to rest peacefully in Chereponi.

May her soul rest in perfect peace.
Minister for Communications (Mr. Haruna Iddrisu) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to join Hon Colleagues in paying a tribute to an Hon Member of this august House, Doris Seidu. Doris, as she was affectionately called, is no more.
Undoubtedly, she has left a void and it is a huge loss not just to the New Patriotic Party but to the Parliament of Ghana and
Minister for Communications (Mr. Haruna Iddrisu) 11:40 a.m.

more especially to the women parlia- mentary group, recognizing that they already have very few numbers in this House, it is a minus in terms of the strength of women who represent their various constituencies in this august House.

As one pays a tribute to her, Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege of working with Doris in the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy and cannot but agree with Hon Gifty Kusi that she was principled, she was firm and quiet. Indeed, I recall that she was very, very instrumental in ensuring that Chereponi was granted a district status.

It was something very dear to her heart then. She was a very polite person and normally would reach out very quietly even if she had an issue to raise at the committee level, she would pat you and say in Dagbani “Oh Honourable, what do you think about this particular issue” as we met as Hon Members of the Committee of Mines and Energy.

Mr. Speaker, as we wish her God's comfort and abundance of grace, let me use the admonishing of the Hon Minority Leader yesterday, to say that -- to all of us, some day, I am sure some tribute would be paid at different times to different people.

In looking for her successor, we should be guided by that single important lesson that tomorrow it may be you -- and behave in a manner which is decent and civil. The assurance I can give is that the Northern Regional Security Council will provide adequate security measures to protect the electorate of Chereponi and in particular the political parties to ensure a smooth determination of a successor. We may not be able to tie the hands of the political parties in determining whether they would elect a female representative to fit into her shoes but if they do, they would have our support.

Let me say that may her soul rest in perfect peace. The Parliament of Ghana will miss her presence. The Committee on Mines and Energy will miss her presence and in particular our women parliamentary group.

May she enjoy the grace of God.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah (NPP - Atwima Mponua) 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for granting me this opportunity to contribute to the Statement paying tribute to our dear departed Hon Colleague of this august House.
Mr. Speaker, I met the late Hon Doris
Seidu even before we all entered this House in the year 2005. I remember as young aspiring parliamentarians, we met somewhere at Sunyani to deliberate on our way forward then. We met the late Hon Doris Seidu and then some of us were convinced that indeed, this country was blessed with such a fantastic personality.
Mr. Speaker, the late Hon Doris Seidu was very affable, committed Hon Member of this House and indeed, a true patriot of this country. Mr. Speaker, for me, her contribution in the constituency of which she represented was so unique that strongly did I believe that her name would forever remain in the constituency for the good works she did. Her priority was providing quality education to her constituents and that is manifested in the numerous scholarships and financial support she provided to her constituents. And indeed, she also believed in energy, she did well to extend electricity to many parts of her constituency.
For some of us, we believe that the late Hon Doris Seidu epitomizes women empowerment and that for me, she was a symbol of hope for the girl-child in this country.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah (NPP - Atwima Mponua) 11:40 a.m.

Mr. Speaker, it is important for all of

us to know that when we formed a youth caucus on our side, we then called it G 11 or the famous G 11 of Hon Members of Parliament below the age of 40 years then, when we came in. [Hear! Hear!] Hon Ofori-Kuragu was our Chairman and Mr. Speaker, her contributions at our meetings were so rich that all of us found her as our only mother and indeed, our only wife in the group.

She was so caring and so humble, a very good listener of course. She would listen to you. A good adviser and she played that motherly role that she would counsel her own Hon Colleagues as a real mother. So for some of us, we have lost indeed, a mother and indeed, a sister.

Mr. Speaker, as democrats as we claim to be, it is important and I am happy Hon Iddrisu touched on it briefly that it is important that we secure the people of Chereponi the right atmosphere for them to go about participating in the process of getting somebody to replace her so peacefully, devoid of the acrimony, devoid of the nasty situation we experienced in Akwatia.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, you know that this is a very solemn occasion and it is a Statement and not a debate, so do not do anything to provoke debate. The Statement was a very solemn one. Do not provoke debate.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, we are mourning because a Colleague and indeed, a member of this country has passed away and so if as a result of getting her replaced, we also cause the death of
innocent Ghanaians, then this country should be concerned. That is why I am worried that our actions and inactions should not result in the death of innocent Ghanaians. That is why I am worried. I am concerned.
I am worried because the actions of politicians should not result in the death of innocent Ghanaians. That our leaders should provide quality leadership, leadership that provides security, leadership that ensures that our people live in secured environment. That is why I am raising this very fundamental issue.
Mr. S. I. B. Iddrisu 11:40 a.m.
On a point of order. Mr. Speaker, much as we agree with this House this morning to mourn our departed Hon Colleague, sister, mother, I think our Hon Colleagues from the other side should be brought to order because the issue that is on the floor of the House this morning is non-partisan. It is for all of us to join hands as responsible legislators to mourn our departed sister. But we should not go out of track to talk about partisan political matters. [Hear! Hear!]
Thank you very much.
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:40 a.m.
Mr. Speaker, I am
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 11:40 a.m.
Hon Member, you know that this is a Statement, it is not a debate. You should make your comment but there should not be any - you know, the place should be properly secured. Now, you are jumping into Akwatia which is a different subject matter and I am not going to allow you to pursue
that course of action because it will be against the rules of the House.
If you look at Standing Order 71, under which this Statement is being made -- if you give a technical interpretation to Standing Order 71, nobody is even allowed to make a comment on the Statement made. Look at Order 71. So, please -
Mr. I. K. Asiamah 11:50 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, I will proceed. I raised a legitimate issue of security, that is all that I did and for me, I will have to emphasise the point that it is important to ensure security of every Ghanaian, especially in voting areas like Chereponi.
Mr. Speaker, I thank Hon Haruna Iddrisu for raising this very important issue and I remember I did discuss with the late Hon Doris Seidu about the need for her constituency to be given a district status and I am happy that Hon Haruna Iddrisu raised that issue. In fact, it was through her instrumentality that indeed, her constituency is now a district and for me, the people of Chereponi will always forever honour Hon Doris Seidu for that singular, very important legacy she has left for the people of Chereponi and they will forever also, indeed, be gracious to the Party which gave birth to Hon Doris Seidu.
Obviously, the Party groomed her so well and that is the more reason why for some of us, we are not surprised that even after the election, when the Party constituted a national review committee, Hon Doris Seidu was a member and that was the last time I had the opportunity to work with her.
I was also a member of that national review committee and we worked so hard that at least, we know for sure that with all these contributions, the people of Chereponi will forever remember and

honour the late Hon Seidu by retaining NPP in that constituency - a very capable NPP person, somebody who will fit in her shoes so well.

Mr. Speaker, with this contribution, I end my submission.

Thank you.

Alhaj i Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka (NDC -- Asawase): Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement on the floor of the House by taking the opportunity to express my greatest condolence to the family of our Hon Colleague from Chereponi.

Mr. Speaker, our sister was a very calm one on this floor of the House. She has been a member of the Muslim caucus in this House and most of the times, you hardly heard her voice. That is by way of her calmness. You can hardly see her arguing with anyone or quarrelling with anybody in this House.

It is sad that her life had to end so short; looking at her age, one would have expected that she would have lived much longer than she had truly lived. Having worked so hard from such a very difficult constituency like Chereponi to retain the seat on a second occasion, really shows how hardworking she was with her constituents. Mr. Speaker, it is sad that such a hardworking young parliamentarian had to lose her life through illness.

Mr. Speaker, having said this, I will want us as a country to begin thinking about when Colleagues die, the way and the method that we use in replacing them. Mr. Speaker, at least, I have been in this House, this is the fifth year and I have attended several by-elections where sometimes our Colleagues die and we are

going to replace them.

Mr. Speaker, if you are a Member of Parliament and you go for a by-election when a Colleague is dead and you see the way we struggle politically, fight each other just to replace person sometimes gives so much worry, especially when the by-election is very close to the funeral. Almost everybody seems to forget about the dead, the Colleague who is dead, we all seem to forget about the dead Colleague and we will then go and concentrate on replacing the Colleague.

Mr. Speaker, I think laws are made to serve man and this country is not an exception. It is not mandatory that because it is done somewhere, we must always do same. Mr. Speaker, I honestly believe, as a country, when we lose a Colleague through death, we should by principle change our law to make it possible for the political party that is holding that seat to just replace the person so that we will be able to concentrate on the dead person, give the person the befitting burial and the respect that is necessary for the person.

Mr. Speaker, I know in America, the Congress of America, when a Congress man dies, he is not replaced. Mr. Speaker, if you look at the struggle, I have seen it at Offinso, I have seen it at Fomena, I have seen it in so many places, even the by-election that brought me into this House, not less than eight people had to receive gun shots. At Offinso, we saw the struggle, at Fomena, we saw the struggle and in all these cases, we as Members of this House tend to forget about them. I believe that as a country, we should be thinking through this very well.

Yes, today, the laws are such that when somebody dies, we need to go and compete for the seat. I believe that as a country, we could be looking at the option

of making it possible for the Party to replace the person for the duration left so that when the next election comes, we can then go and compete for the seat.

Mr. Speaker, having said these few words, I would want to take this opportunity once again to express my condolence to the constituents of Chereponi and my sister's husband and children, and may her soul rest in perfect peace.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker noon
Hon Members, we are paying tribute to a departed Colleague of this Honourable House. The background noise, even as tributes are being paid, is not giving this House a very good image. At least, when we are doing our politics and we are shouting at each other, it is not when tribute is being paid to a departed Colleague of this House.

Ms. Esther Obeng Dappah (NPP

- Abirem): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to the Statement on the floor of this House and to offer my condolences to the family of our dear friend, Doris Seidu. I would like to offer my condolences especially to her husband who stood by her through all these difficult times, through the elections, campaigning at this very difficult terrain and stood also by her during her sickness. My sympathy also goes to her young daughter and her entire family and her constituents.

Mr. Speaker, it is sad to lose a young life; there is a saying that “life begins at 40”. So Doris passed away when her life was just about to begin. After going through campaigning as a woman -- we

know how difficult it is when a woman becomes a candidate. The abuse, the financial difficulties and the lot that we go through. It is sad to leave it at this early time. So my condolences, finally, go to people who supported her in her constituency and brought her back to Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, Doris was very calm but she had such strength in herself. I remember when the women caucus went to Akosombo and had an all-night party, a dance, she could dance and fly away and I was so surprised that she had such strength to dance, we could not match her. I had a little chat with her and she told me that she was a “Christlam” and that was the first time I heard the word and I wondered what “Christlam” was. And she said well, “I used to be a Christian and I am married to a Muslim so that makes me a Christlam”. I found that very, very funny. I thought you either belonged to one or the other but that was Doris for you.

Mr. Speaker, her constituency is going to miss her a lot because she was development-oriented. I remember when she told me that in one of the villages, she managed to secure solar lights and that was the first time they have had street lights and how they all gathered under the lights, as soon as the lights came on -- young and old gathered under the lights and some of the children did their homework under those lights. It goes to show how hardworking she was. Everything she did was to bring development to the constituency. No wonder she gained the name “Tiger Lady”; she was friendly, unassuming, patient; I never heard a bad word passed from her lips to any of her Colleagues. She will be greatly missed by us and also her constituents.

I pray that her soul will rest in perfect peace.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker noon
Thank you, Hon Member. Hon Member for Shai Osudoku.
Mr. David T. Assumeng (NDC - Shai Osudoku) noon
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to the tribute.
Mr. Speaker, Doris was a disciplined person in this House; I must say that I will continue to remember her by the style of her hair. She always did her hair in a very unique style in this House and it is something you would want to admire. It is unfortunate that she is no longer in the House.
Mr. Speaker, Doris was always quiet and any time I met her and asked her “Doris, what forced you into the New Patriotic Party (NPP)?”, she only smiled and left me and would not even mind me. She was a jovial person who would not confront you with any issue. I think that she is one unique person that we will forever miss.
Mr. Speaker, Doris has departed at a tender age and a time that her constituents would need her most. But it is unfortunate that even though we loved her, God loves her most.
Mr. Speaker, it is my hope and belief that this time that she is gone, her constituents would do their best to replace her with a similar dynamic person to continue with the development of the area. It is my hope and belief that this time round, the people would want to go with the ruling party and vote for the NDC during the by-election.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery (NPP - Lawra/ Nandom) 12:10 p.m.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the tribute of one of our beloved who has departed.
Mr. Speaker, let me start by saying that we on the Minority side of the House acknowledge the support of the Majority since the death of Hon Doris Assibi Seidu. I do know that in fact, the Majority Leader was part of the delegation and when we met in Tamale, a lot of the Members of the Majority were part of the funeral. So we have no doubt that this House is behind all efforts to give our sister a befitting tribute and befitting final funeral rites.
Mr. Speaker, the deceased is buried but
we are yet to go for the final funeral rites on the 40th day since she is a Muslim and I would entreat all of us to act the way we are speaking today and ensure that we go together to Chereponi to give her the respect that I think we all admit she deserves.
Mr. Speaker, having said that, I think the departure of Hon Doris Seidu is a loss, first, as a fellow Member of Parliament and second, as a lady Member of Parliament. Mr. Speaker, in the Fourth Parliament, we had 25 female or women Members of Parliament and in this Parliament, as the tribute of Hon Kusi has shown, the number has reduced from 25 to 20 and especially for Members of Parliament from the northern part of Ghana. The three northern regions, I think the attrition hit us more than the southern part. And so Hon Alima Mahama did not make it, Hon Mrs. Chigabatia, Hon Teni Iddi and Hon Alice Boon. So there is a high attrition rate in respect of women from the North and I think that this should be a matter of concern for all of us.

In the first place, the women are the majority in Ghana and therefore, you would expect statistically that they should have been the majority in Parliament. But we do know the problems they face, that is

no reason why we should give up. In fact, those of us who are privileged to represent this Parliament outside are beginning to face the challenge that the numbers in those institutions out there demand that at least, half of the number, if possible should be women.

All I can say is that we all in Ghana have to consider ways and means of ensuring that the representation of women in this Parliament is increased. Maybe, one way is to consider a proportional representation system which would allow us to determine those who come to Parliament after the results because it seems that the current system that we have leaves our women at a disadvantage.

So I think Doris will be lost and greatly missed by her constituents. She was committed to development. I happened to know her before she entered politics when she was working for Action Aid and even after she became a politician and before I came to Parliament this year, I met her at various fora and she was in all those circumstances fighting to get develop-ment for her people. And she also led by example. She gave scholarships for her people but even as a Member of Parliament, she demonstrated her commitment to education by enrolling herself in the university while she was here.

I think such is the nature of the exemplary politician and a Member of Parliament that we have lost and I can only pray that especially we those from the North, that our people will begin to see that the women are just as good as the men, if not better. And that it will influence our attitude to sending our girl-child to the school; it will influence our attitude to maintaining them in there and influence our attitude whenever possible to choose

the women to lead us, because when they do as in the case of Doris, they excel, they do very well.

I think that a lot has already been said of Doris and all I can hope is that when we go for the by-election in Chereponi, that we give mutual respect for her by behaving ourselves and conducting a peaceful and fair election. My brother Hon Mubarak has made proposals that are more far- reaching but until we get there, we should, when we are going on such by-elections behave ourselves, live as Doris lived.

Doris was always humble but it did not mean that she was weak. She knew what she wanted, she was focused and she got it done within the law and decorum and I expect that the best tribute we can pay to her is going to the final funeral rites at Chereponi, and to comport ourselves and behave the way she had taught us to behave. I think that Doris in a certain view and a certain way is irreplaceable. Every- body is unique. But we can only hope that the people of Chereponi will be guided by the politics that she exhibited and choose a successor who will have the same qualities.

I would say that we sympathize with the husband and her only daughter and also the people of Chereponi. And I expect that we will work together to ensure that this indefatigable Member of Parliament for Chereponi who has gone will be respected in a way that we comport ourselves as individuals and among ourselves.

May she rest in perfect peace.
Majority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 12:10 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, it is better we pay tribute to our Colleague, the late Doris Assibi Seidu, who we all know was very cool, calm, very gentle and a dignified lady. I stated she was quiet but purposive. She was a courageous lady, who inspite
Majority Leader (Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin) 12:10 p.m.

of the seriousness of her ailment, never indicated to people that she was not well at all. She managed to keep the pain and suffering within her and continued to serve and sacrifice for her constituents. We can only share the grief of the family, particularly the husband and child.

We can try to use words of comfort, we can console and try to in one way or another contribute to alleviate or ameliorate the suffering of the immediate family. Doris has departed; she has created a vacuum and I hope and pray that we will all try to in a very decent manner fill that vacuum.

Traditions differ and we are compelled to bury her but the funeral will be celebrated later. I want to call on Hon Colleagues to patronize the funeral and to try to not just show by word of mouth but by deed that we are sorry that she left us so suddenly and also on the election ground, try to educate our brothers and sisters that politics is not about - enmity; it is not a war, it is not a conflict but it is just a matter of deciding at any particular time who could properly serve a community, a society; that is what elections are about.

I believe that my Hon Colleague who referred to the issue of the apparel did so because maybe, his tradition or her tradition prescribes that one should wear black for funerals. It is not the same of all traditions. For my culture, what is worn for funerals basically, depends on one's age and status in society. We do not abhor and we do not ascribe to the view that funerals are meant to compel people to wear black, so we differ. And I am sure it is in that diversity that we all enjoy life.

I want to end by promising the immediate family and constituency that even though Doris is gone, there are a lot of her converts, friends and lovers who will try to support and maintain some sort of comfort for them. It is with this that I say may the good Lord just receive her in His bosom until we meet one day.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:10 p.m.
Thank you very much, Hon Majority Leader. I can only say that may her soul rest in perfect peace.
Hon Members, that brings us to the end of the tribute.
Mr. A. S. K. Bagbin 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker, we
have on the Order Paper, item 4, which is Committee Sittings. And you know the Finance Committee in particular would want the full complement of its members to deliberate on the Supplementary Budget that was laid yesterday. In view of that I will want to move, that this House do adjourn till tomorrow 10.00 a.m. where we will reconvene to continue with proceedings.
Mr. Ambrose P. Dery 12:20 p.m.
Mr. Speaker,
I beg to second the motion.
Question put and motion agreed to.
Mr. First Deputy Speaker 12:20 p.m.
Members, I quickly want to add that the debate on the Supplementary Estimates will start tomorrow.
  • The House was accordingly adjourned at 12.23 p.m. till 27th August 2009 at 10.00 a.m..