Fomena MP’s letter: Its presumed effect and the high price tag it seeks to offer

Michael Abbey Michael Abbey is the writer of this article

Sun, 17 Jan 2021 Source: Michael Abbey

I have been struggling to understand the justification behind the presumed effect granted to the MP for Fomena’s 13th January 2021 letter to the Speaker of Parliament indicating his intention to cooperate, collaborate and associate with the NPP caucus for the purpose of transacting business in the house. What he did was simple: a declaration of intent on notice.

First; what does the declaration practically even mean? And, more importantly, since the presumed effect of that declaration affects the determination of a number of issues including the “majority/minority debate”, constitution of committees, membership of delegations, etc., how does one ensure he practically sticks to his declaration so made? Clearly, in order to ensure he sticks to the declaration so made one must know what his declaration therefore means in substance and practice.

Second; can one say that the two (2) NPP MPs who voted for the choice of Speaker sponsored by the NDC caucus in parliament cooperated, collaborated and associated with the NDC for that parliamentary business though they did not expressly indicate same? And, if yes, what does that mean? That, the NDC was the “majority group” as at the time of the election of the Speaker? Or the difference here is because those two (2) NPP MPs failed to publicly indicate they were going to do business with the NDC on the issue of the election of the Speaker?

Indeed, what could rather be emphatically said about the two (2) NPP MPs who voted for the NDC choice of Speaker is that given their action in respect of the election of the Speaker, they cannot be trusted or said to fully cooperate, collaborate and associate with the NPP caucus in parliament in the conduct of some parliamentary business.

Third; how do we know when the MP for Fomena decides not to cooperate, collaborate and associate with the NPP entirely or on some specific issues; and yet fails to inform the house publicly as he has done in his 13th January 2021 letter to the Speaker? How about on a day he just feels like being “truly independent” without notice to anyone? How would anyone know? Are these not the reasons why it is too simplistic and too much of a price to pay to just tilt everything in favour of the NPP caucus due to a mere declaration of intent on notice by the Fomena MP?

Fourth; this is a house where both leaders have addressed the need for the NDC and NPP to cooperate and collaborate in the spirit of consensus building in order to advance the interest of the Ghanaian people. Thus, it is already expected of all the members to cooperate and collaborate in the conduct of parliamentary business. And, by cooperating and collaborating, members automatically associate with each other’s positions and perspectives.

See, the kind of disagreement that may ensue between the NPP caucus and the NDC caucus is same or even more than that which occurs within the NPP caucus or the NDC caucus before collective decisions are eventually arrived at. In other words, there will always be in-caucus and inter-caucus disagreements and agreements.

Hence, it is therefore difficult to understand why by a mere declaration of intent to do what all members have been called upon to do already – thus, to cooperate, collaborate and in some cases associate – suddenly shifts all advantages in, particularly, the constitution of committees in parliament to the NPP caucus that has same number of MPs with the NDC caucus.

Something should definitely be wrong with either (1) how I see things, or (2) the things I see rather. Ebe someway o.


Columnist: Michael Abbey