In far-away United Kingdom, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson mounted a podium on the iconic Number 10 Downing Street to announce his resignation.

Boris’ resignation follows an avalanche of resignations from over 50 government ministers under the scandal-hit leader’s administration.

The announcement by the British Prime minister has ignited a fury of reactions in Ghana albeit not directed at his decision.

Some Ghanaians on Twitter have compared both situations, questioning why Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo is still retaining her position as MP and Minister for Children Gender and Social Protection from despite her long stay out of the country.

For those frustrated by her absence, their angst is more exacerbated by the seeming refrain of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo from relieving Adwoa Safo of her ministerial position.

While Boris Johnson’s resignation resulted from pressure within his own party, a similar call within the governing New Patriotic Party backed by the heavy voices of some Ghanaians appears to have failed to yield the same result in the case of Adwoa Safo.

She has held on to her title as an MP and a minister for close to a year despite abandoning her post to live in the United States of America and also refusing to officially justify her decision.

Some 24 hours prior to Boris Johnson’s resignation, Adwoa Safo had failed to make a virtual appearance before the Privileges Committee of Ghana’s Parliament to justify her incessant months-long absence from post.

She has on other occasions claimed that her decision to stay in America is in response to a motherly duty call. But while nobody can take Adwoa Safo away from fulfilling her private and personal duties, the question remains on how long and how much that will continue in flagrant disregard of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin in referring Adwoa Safo and two other MPs to the Privileges Committee, referenced Article 97 (1) C of the Constitution which states that: “A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he is absent, without the permission in writing to the Speaker and he is unable to offer a reasonable explanation to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges from fifteen Sittings of a meeting of Parliament during any period that Parliament has been summoned to meet and continues to meet.”

The two MPs, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong of Assin North and Henry Quartey of Ayawaso Central have since taken their turns at the committee to justify their absence over a period.

It is however reported that Sarah Adwoa Safo kept members of the committee waiting for as long as 3 hours and eventually never logged in on the Zoom link for her hearing.

According to a member of the Privileges Committee, Rickets Kwaku Hagan, they have exhausted all other avenues within their chest to get the MP to appear before the committee.

Some critics have alluded that the behaviour of the MP is a result of some internal matters of the New Patriotic Party.

On the matter of principle, as much as 59 members of the UK government resigned in what cumulated into the eventual resignation of the prime minister.

Of course, nobody expects members of the Akufo-Addo government to resign en masse over an MP’s refusal to uphold the dictates of the constitution to swear to. But it raises questions about the seeming inaction of her appointing authority especially when it has been reported that attempts within her own party to rope her in have failed.

For many Ghanaians unenthused by the situation the question remains is Adwoa Safo too powerful and above sacking or there is a fundamental lack of principle application.

With the privileges committee yet to submit its report to the Speaker, it is hoped that the Legislative arm of government will do its bit in upholding the Constitution even if the Executive remains adamant.

By Dj_Kofi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *