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Daring, unfazed and vilified: Meet 2022 Woman of the year

33243375 Sarah Adwoa Safo is the MP for Dome Kwabenya

Tue, 27 Dec 2022 Source:

There should have been a debate on this subject, but it seems that politically, and looking back on the year in retrospect, Sarah Adwoa Safo has no competition when it comes to names of females who have dominated news headlines for the most part of the last 365 days.

The Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya has not just easily earned herself the coveted title of "Woman of the Year 2022," but she has also endeared herself to several good and bad energies.

But even more interesting has been the fact that not only have these energies come from her usual opponents, but a number of them too have come from within her very background: from her colleague MPs in the Majority or New Patriotic Party (NPP).

And someone might just say, well, it was expected.

So, what are the specific reasons that this prestigious award would fall so easily at the feet of this young, yet experienced MP?

Let's travel down memory lane to the first time her name became a major talking point in the year. This was when it was noticed that Sarah Adwoa Safo had been absent from parliament – her constitutionally mandated place of work, for quite a long time.

But even more profound was the fact that her presence was needed for a crucial government business; one that the president of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through his Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, was trying so had to push through the evenly-split Parliament of Ghana.

The controversial Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy), which was eventually passed under very controversial circumstances, was what the country needed the Dome Kwabenya’s presence so much for, but as it turned out, her presence wasn’t so greatly needed.

In fact, ahead of the vote on the E-Levy, which had gone through many stages of parliamentary procedures, arguments and counter-arguments, and near fisticuffs on the floor of parliament, the Majority (of which Adwoa Safo is a member of), had declared that with or without her, they would push through with their vote.

In an interview in February 2022, Habib Iddrisu, the Deputy Majority Whip, stated that if history is any guide, the House has been able to pass many bills into law without the full support of majority MPs.

“It’s not cast in stone that without the presence of Adwoa Safo the E-Levy will not be passed,” he said.

Adwoa Safo holding government to ransom:

One of the people who many believed knew the exact whereabouts of Sarah Adwoa Safo, was the Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong. This, beyond the fact that he was a colleague of hers, was mainly because he has children with her.

But interestingly enough, he was one of the people who criticized her the most for staying away from parliament and from the country.

According to him, the lawmaker’s conduct was tantamount to holding the governing NPP to ransom.

“NPP has a problem. As for me ‘na truth go kill me’. I will tell you the way it is… Adwoa Sarfo is holding the whole NPP to ransom. It is the truth I’m saying.

"I won’t cover it up because I have 2 children with her so when she is doing something which is wrong, [I won’t say it]. What is going on in NPP is very annoying. We have pampered some people to the extent that they have become tin gods,” he said in Twi on February 8, 2022.

There were also claims that the Dome-Kwabenya MP had been absent for that long because she wanted to be made the Deputy Majority Leader in parliament.

Adwoa Safo absent from parliament for 15 days:

By February 18, 2022, Adwoa Safo’s absence from parliament had officially entered its 15th day.

Already unhappy with her prolonged absence without any concrete reasons or constant communication with them, some members of the Majority Caucus started processes to remove her as an MP.

The MPs on the same side of the House with her had hinted that she will be reported formally to the Privileges Committee for onward action.

But this was a decision that was, rather surprisingly, fought back by the people who should ordinarily be her opponents in politics: the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs.

Minority for Adwoa Safo:

The Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency, Kwame Governs Agboza, questioned why some members of the Majority in Parliament were attacking the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, as though she was the only MP who had absented herself from parliament for a long time.

According to him, there are a number of MPs who only come to the chamber to break the 15-day rule after they have been away for a while.

Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, the MP quizzed why there is so much interest in Adwoa Safo who has been away from the house for a while.

“There are a number of Members of Parliament who always come here to break the 15 days rule. They come when the 15 days is about to elapse then they come and do one day or even half day, so why is Adwoa Safo of so much of interest currently? Look into the chamber for some people you even hardly know if they are still Members of Parliament. So, I don’t even see the fixation on Adwoa Safo.

“The NPP is being so callous, unfair to Adwoa Safo. She has done everything for the party and even won seat for the party, today, you are telling her she and her father are nobody and the party doesn’t belong her, but she has never claimed the party belongs to her,” he noted.

Chief of Staff paid Adwoa Safo GH¢120,000, Agyapong alleges:

And then there was another major accusation made by Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, about the whole Adwoa Safo saga.

He alleged that the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, gave him GH¢120,000 to be deposited into the bank account of Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, to enable her return to parliament and work for the government.

"I have vowed not to insult like I will blast her today. Adwoa Safo, Chief of Staff called me; I went there and [she] said now this is what she is saying, I swear [on] my mother's grave, Chief of Staff gave me GH¢120,000 to deposit in Adwoa Safo's bank account.

"I put the money there; I deposited it in her Fidelity bank account; you can ask her PA if what I am saying is not the truth. I deposited the money there. Now, because of how she is behaving, we are in opposition," a furious Kennedy Agyapong said on Asaase Radio on Tuesday, February 22.

Petition to remove 3 NPP MPs:

After some time had elapsed, there was a petition made to parliament by a former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, seeking the Speaker’s powers to invoke Article 97(1) on some absentee MPs who have breached the 15-day rule in the House.

According to him, four Members of Parliament all absented themselves from the Chamber for more than fifteen sitting days without the permission of the Speaker.

The MPs are Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya; Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin South; Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; and Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta.

“I write to petition your high office to respectfully enforce the provisions of article 97(1) c of the 1992 constitution of Ghana and parliament’s Standing Order number 16(1).

“It has come to my notice through parliament’s Hansard, and newspaper and radio reports that some four Members of Parliament, namely Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome-Kwabenya; Hon. Henry Quartey, MP for Ayawaso Central; Hon. Ebenezer Kojo Kum, MP for Ahanta West; and Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong, MP for Assin Central have all absented themselves from Parliament for more than fifteen sittings of a meeting of Parliament without the permission of Mr. Speaker in writing,” he wrote.

Bagbin refers 3 NPP MPs to Privileges Committee:

After admitting the petition by Ras Mubarak, Alban Bagbin referred the case of the three MPs to the Privileges Committee.

“Privilege’s Committee, you are so directed, handle the matter, report back to the House,” he directed.

It would take a lot of back and forth, refusals to attend to the invitation of the Committee, to a report to the Speaker of Parliament recommending that action be taken on the three but Bagbin once again saved the Dome-Kwabenya MP.

Bagbin saves Adwoa Safo once again:

After many looked forward to the verdict that the Speaker of Parliament would deliver on the fate of Sarah Adwoa Safo and the two other MPs, he dipped a lot of hopes when he eventually did.

On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, he dismissed the objection of the Majority Leader to the admissibility of the committee report for the consideration of the house.

“As I have noted in this ruling, the decision (sic) on not to admit a motion is the exclusive preserve of the Speaker. In view of the foregoing, the House is well within its right to receive and consider reports of the committee and make a determine arising out of the consideration.

“In the circumstances, it is my ruling that the motion was rightfully admitted and the report of the committee is subject to the consideration of the house. It goes without saying that the (sic) objection of the Majority Leader today (sic) is hereby dismissed…” he concluded his verdict.

Adwoa Safo sacked as gender minister:

It must be stated that months earlier, and after a lot of expectations, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, officially sacked Sarah Adwoa Safo as Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

According to a statement signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications, Office of the President, the president’s decision was according to Article 81(a) of the 1992 Constitution.

The statement added that Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister, Sanitation and Water Resources, will continue as the caretaker minister until a substantive minister is appointed.

“In accordance with article 81(a) of the Constitution, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has revoked the appointment of Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, with immediate effect.

“The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, will continue to act as caretaker Minister for the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, until such a time that President Akufo-Addo appoints a substantive Minister,” the statement from the Presidency concluded.

Adwoa Safo finally resumes parliament duties:

On Friday, November 11, 2022, GhanaWeb's lenses in parliament captured Sarah Adwoa Safo on the floor of the House. She was seen interacting with the former Minister for Works and Housing and MP for Abuakwa, Samuel Atta Akyea.

Adwoa Safo's return to the House came after her aide, Nana Dubin Kwapong, indicated that she was having discussions with the leadership of the Majority caucus before resuming her parliamentary duties.

In her first interaction with the media on her return, she ascribed thanks to all who had supported her in her absence.

“I greet all my constituents. As their Member of Parliament, by the grace of God, I have finally returned to the Chamber… the reception has been good… I’m now back to continue my duties and today is the first day and I’m hoping that the subsequent weeks are going to be good.

“It feels good to be back,” she said.

There is more that this article has not adequately captured but in general, these are the major things that make the personality, Sarah Adwoa Safo the Woman of the Year, in GhanaWeb’s projections.


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