A civil society organization, Parliamentary Network Africa says it will petition the Speaker of Parliament to cause investigations into the incidents that marred the inauguration of the 8th Parliament if it sees no action on the matter.
Most notably, armed military and police personnel stormed Ghana’s Parliament after proceedings had already been marred by scuffles between legislators from the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party ahead of the election of a new Speaker.
Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director of PNAfrica, Sammy Obeng said: “the military who are strangers in parliamentary parlance being allowed to enter the hallowed chamber of Parliament was a very low point in our parliamentary history and that cannot be countenanced.”
“Once we do not see any actions on these issues by some time next week, we are going to particularly petition the Right Honourable Speaker so there could be some steps taken with regard to these issues,” he added.
Mr. Obeng was also disappointed that the 8th Parliament started on such a sour note.
“A lot of us very high expectations of this eighth Parliament simply because of how the numbers were going to help in changing the nature and ways in which the Parliament works.”
“Beyond it being shameful, there were other events on the day that do not auger well for our parliamentary system,” he said.
Calls for probe
The Parliamentary Service has expressed regret over the incident but has not indicated if there will be a probe.
“Parliament would, however, like to put them behind it and work towards a more focused, unified membership aimed at promoting the best Parliamentary practices and good governance,” it said in a statement.
Former President John Mahama called for an investigation into the various incidents that blighted the onset of the new Parliament “and exact appropriate sanctions.”
The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) also called for sanctions against persons who caused the military invasion of Parliament.
A security analyst, Adam Bonah, stressed that these calls were in the national interest.
“The calls for investigations into that are legitimate and shouldn’t only be NDC’s call but a national call for all of us to bring an end to it.”