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Haruna, Speaker Oquaye smoke peace pipe following ‘elders’ intervention

Haruna, Speaker Oquaye smoke peace pipe following ‘elders’ intervention

The silently simmering feud between the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron M. Oquaye and Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, resulting in the latter cautioning the former in an uncharacteristically angry mood on the floor of parliament not to force him (Haruna Iddrisu) to disrespect him (Mr Speaker), has been put to rest.

This, we understand, follows the intervention of elderly, and highly respected Ghanaian statesmen and women who together found the incident on the floor of Ghana’s parliament unpalatable for the country’s democratic development, prompting them to call the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, being the younger, to advise him by Ghanaian arbitration tradition.

The minority leader, speaking to Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana Tuesday disclosed that one of the elders who called him even quoted a commandment of the Bible and said “Haruna, honour your father and mother…”.

The Minority leader, while admitting the Speaker deserves to be treated with respect and fairness, however disagreed that the relationship on the floor of Parliament was about a Professor-student relationship or anything like it. He said it was also about respect for the minority’s place in parliament at all times and the contributions they have to make in the law-making process.

“I think that it is not about Haruna being Minority Leader… it is not about a Professor-Student relationship… It is about respect to the lead opposition party in parliament having a rightful place to play its role as a political party”, the Minority leader said.

Improved relationship

“We are working at it”, Haruna said in response to the question about his relationship to the Speaker.

“I have my reservations about how the minority is being treated. When you see the minority leader stand for 10 minutes without being recognized what respect do you expect my members to have of me as their leader”, he asked rhetorically.

“I have been watching the videos of Hon Kyei Mensah Bonsu, from Hackman through to Nana Akufo-Addo’s time and I watch the time and I expect Prof Ocquaye to respect that. Give me same right as minority leader… I’ve asked Kyei Mensah Bonsu whether that was how he was treated as a minority leader”, the Minority Leader explained what necessitated his outbursts.

Elderly intervention

Mr Haruna Iddrisu was however quick to add that in the face of all these, some elderly and respected names in society have called on him to do good a makeover of his misunderstanding with the highly experienced Speaker of Parliament Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.

“I must say some respected personalities in the country have since spoken to me… I won’t be able to name them but I have benefited from some fatherly and motherly advice”, he said.

He indicated that together with other leadership of the house, they intended to have a retreat to build more consensus and understanding for the success of the business of the house.

“We have all said we should have a leadership retreat. There are many things that we are not happy about. We have some reservations, we need to work at it. I should be fair to him (Speaker)”, Haruna concluded.

Background: Don’t invite me to disrespect you

Readers will recall Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, threatened to disregard the authority of the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye over the Speaker’s failure to recognize him when he wanted to make an intervention during the debate on the Special Petroleum Tax.

What further angered the Minority Leader was the fact that the Speaker rather called the Majority Leader for his contribution, even though he, Haruna Iddrisu, had been standing for several minutes, an event citifm covered succinctly.

Following the sequence of events, Mr. Iddrisu was finally given the opportunity to speak, where he expressed his disappointment, in an angry mood:

“I am sad at the way you have treated me as Minority Leader. I stood up before the Majority Leader. You owe me that courtesy and that respect. Mr. Speaker, even after hearing him [Majority Leader], you have still not decided whether to hear me or not,” he said.

Mr. Iddrisu stressed that he was acting within the Standing Orders of Parliament, citing order 130; further asserting that Prof. Oquaye “must respect the Standing Orders as chair of this House… you owe me every duty and every standard of care to hear me on this matter… … Mr. Speaker, you owe me, I don’t want to ever disrespect you but if you invite me, I will,” the Minority Leader said.

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