2nd Deputy Speaker calls for Afenyo-Markin’s tape on ‘Russia-Ukraine-E-levy’ comment in order to take a decision on his complaint

Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Amoako Asiamah has called for the tape that captured what the Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, before he can act on a complaint of media misreportage.

This comes after Second Deputy Majority Whip, Habib Iddrisu told him in Parliament on Friday February 25 that Afenyo-Markin’s comment was misconstrued by the media.

He wanted the Speaker of Parliament to order the removal of the stories from the portals that carried it on Thursday February 24.

Speaking on the floor of the House Habib said “Our friends from the media should understand that we are friends and partners and for that matter, they need to be fair. Proceedings in Parliament are live and we can go and watch.

“Even though we are not seeking for anything to be referred to the privileges’ committee but our media friends should be guided and know that in reporting or saying things about Members of Parliament which are not true and unfair, we might struggle to even grant them interview or we will not want to speak to them because at the end of the day, you want to share information but you will be misconstrued

“If it is, the media should pull down and apologize to the Deputy Majority Leader.”

But his colleague Member of Parliament for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak rose and asked the Second Deputy Speaker to call for the tape to listen to it again in order to ascertain whether or not Afenyo-Markin did say what was attributed to him by the media.

Muntaka said “Some have said [Afenyo-Markin] said it, some say he said something closed to that, others are saying he didn’t.

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“So even among us as Members of Parliament, we don’t seem to agree whether he said it or he didn’t say it. If you could allow leadership may be, fifteen minutes, to listen to the tape and come so that when we authenticate that then obviously, it will be a matter for privileges. Other than that I don’t see how we are going to be able to resolve this in a way that our own press corps will not feel intimidated.

“We should remember that all these that we do, our efforts should not be to gag the press corps neither, are we to intimidate them but obviously, they must also do what is right.”

Ruling on the matter, the Second Deputy Speaker said “I think I will go by what Honourable Muntaka has said. We will call for the video and see what actually took place. Personally, I feel even if he said something like that, it was just on a lighter note, it was not that he was raising an emphatic statement on that. It could be just on a lighter note.

“Normally, in the house we say certain things like that just for us to relief ourselves. But members of the media you are our partners , without you nothing in this chamber will get out. Please take note that each and everyone here has his or her own rights so, if you say something that has not been attributed to the person it means you are defaming the person, just take note of it

“Without you we cannot get anything done in this house so we are partners let us work together and as such let us respect each other. Like what the Minority Whip said, we will look at the take and see how to address the issues.”

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In Parliament on Thursday February 24, Afenyo-Markin expressed concerns over the possible effect of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on Ghana’s economy.

In his view, the conflict is going to have an impact on import and export and also the strength of the local currency, the cedi.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Thursday February 24, the Effutu lawmaker said “As a businessman, I am worried. I am concerned knowing that the value chain is going to be affected, imports will cost, duties will cost and if you look at what is happening to the cedi, now dollar is moving around a certain figure.

“This is about an international catastrophe which is affecting mother Ghana and the need for us to take away the politics and now have a new way of thinking to support our government. Mr Speaker, the call to evacuate Ghanaian citizens from Ukraine will come at a cost, no European country will evacuate our citizens for us, NATO will not do that, America will not do that.

“There is going to be pressure on the limited resources that we have. As a nation, Ghanaian businesses who are supposed to do well to pay taxes they are going to suffer, their businesses will not do well the way they expect, their projections will be affected, that is the reality and I must bring this to the attention of all of us so that any policy that will be brought will be seen in that light.

“Of course Honourable Minority leader, you have not spoken into the mic but if you are talking about the E-levy, this is the more important reason why we need it. If you are talking about the E-levy, that was the next point I was getting to, that we should engage around it and find a way of generating revenue as a country to save the situation because we are not in normal times. Haruna Iddrisu couldn’t have raised this matter at a better time than now. This is a patriotic call from him.”

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Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu asked the government to take immediate steps to evacuate Ghanaian students from Ukraine following the crisis with Russia.

He said there is the need to assure the students and their parents that they have the support of the Government of Ghana and all Ghanaians.

“I mentioned this matter to the speaker that I wanted to invoke Order 72, to raise the matter of urgent public importance, which is to call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for the Interior, Minister for Finance to work together to take urgent steps to ensure the safety of of Ghanaian students in Ukraine, and to work towards the immediate evacuation of Ghanaian students, those studying in Ukraine.

“This, we must do to assure the students and their parents that they are Ghanaian and they deserve our support. So it is a matter of urgent public importance because the Minister of Finance must make money readily available to the Foreign Minister.

“The situation in Ukraine is very worrying,” the Tamale South Member of Parliament said on the floor of the House.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana