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‘This is not NCA, Resume your seat!’ – Speaker fumes at Ursula Owusu

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In a heated exchange in Parliament, Speaker Alban Bagbin sternly reprimanded the Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, during a debate on a yet-to-be-laid Legislative Instrument (L.I.).

The debate centred on proposed restrictions on the importation of strategic products into the country.

During the debate, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West Constituency questioned the rationale behind the House’s discussion on the L.I., given that it had not been officially laid before them.

Expressing her confusion, she stated, “Mr. Speaker, I believe that the L.I. has not been laid. So I have no idea what they are debating in this House today. There is nothing before the House. So, as you indicated to the minister that we are not yet there, I was of the opinion that you would tell my colleagues on the other side that there is nothing before us.”

Speaker Bagbin interjected, asking, “Hon. Minister, were you here from the very beginning?” Ursula Owusu-Ekuful responded, “No, I have been here since morning, even before the prayer.”

The Speaker questioned her further, stating, “Then why did you say No? Do you really listen to yourself when you are talking?”

“Yes, I do,” Ursula responded.

The Speaker interjected again, saying, “If you were here from the very beginning, and I asked if you were here from the very first beginning, you said no. Then you continue, and now you are telling me you were here even before I entered. So, it meant you were not listening to yourself.”

Defending herself, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, stated, “This is the first time I am appearing in the House this week. I have been here since the beginning of proceedings today, and I do listen to myself very carefully.”

Expressing his dissatisfaction, the Speaker retorted, “I don’t think so,” to which Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said he was entitled to his opinion.

Speaker Alban Bagbin sternly ordered her to resume her seat, emphasizing, “Hon. Minister, this is not the Ministry of Communication; this is Parliament. Resume your seat!”

Later, the Speaker clarified that he raised the issue on the floor after the Minister of Trade, Kobina Tahir Hammond, presented the case to him. Despite being convinced by KT Hammond, he wanted to hear from the House before allowing the instrument to be laid, leading to the ongoing debate on the L.I.

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