The Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has denied sparking the confusion that broke out in Parliament on Thursday evening, after the Joe Ghartey committee presented its report on the bribery allegations.
The Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency, Sam George, said Mr. Opoku Prempeh called the Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini “a fool” escalating tensions into a near-brawl.
This was after the Joe Ghartey committee found the Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga guilty of contempt of Parliament, and recommended that he apologizes to the House.
Mr. Ayariga did apologise, but reluctantly, to the displeasure of some members of the Majority who felt the Bawku Central MP disrespected the House.
According to Sam George’s account, “Napo had called him [Alhassan Suyuhini] a fool. During the proceedings he called him ‘kwasia’ and that is what triggered the whole thing. And this is not the first time Napo was calling somebody a fool. Four weeks ago, he called me a fool on the Floor of the House simply because I’d asked the Speaker to ask him if he was wearing a school uniform or was properly attired to Parliament.”
But Dr. Opoku Prempeh, also the MP for Manhyia South, denied insulting Alhassan Suhuyini in a statement he released on Friday.
“I absolutely and unequivocally deny that I used that word on Hon. Suhuyini during the proceedings in the House or at any other time in Parliament yesterday. It must be noted that during yesterday’s proceedings, only four members of Parliament spoke,” the statement asserted.
According to him, the only persons who spoke were the Majority and Minority Leaders, Alban Bagbin and Mahama Ayariga.
Others would have heard insult
Dr. Opoku Prempeh also noted that “whilst the Hansard relating to yesterday’s proceedings is not yet available, the proceeding were televised live. Clearly, I would have been heard by the viewers uttering those words if indeed Hon. Sam George heard them, as he sits on the other side of the House.”
“No doubt the Speaker too would have heard and certainly would have swiftly ordered that I withdraw the word. No such thing occurred, as viewers of yesterday’s proceedings would note,” he argued.