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Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel Nartey George, has questioned parliament’s decision not to suspend sittings in the face of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.
At least 10 MPs and parliamentary staff some of who recently arrived in the country from international trips and suspected to have been exposed to the virus have been directed by the Speaker of Parliament to self-quarantine.
Additional measures including provision of hand sanitizers at vantage points in parliament have been introduced while the Speaker of the House works towards relocating from the current chamber to the Accra International Conference Centre.
But Mr Sam George holds these measures although commendable, are not enough to protect MPs for which reason he has written to the Speaker of Parliament to absent himself from parliamentary proceedings.
He stated in the letter dated March 24 that he cannot risk his life needlessly by going to parliament for parliamentary businesses which do not in any way have direct impact on the coronavirus and how Ghanaians are being protected.
He said his checks from parliamentary records revealed that in the past weeks, MPs have spent a large chunk of their time working on “bills that have absolutely no bearing on the welfare and wellbeing of the citizens” in the light of the coronavirus.
“None of these deals with the coronavirus pandemic directly!,” he stated, adding “We have literally majored in minors and minored in the major thing”.
In his view, the risk MPs are subjecting themselves to “must be worth it,” indicating that he is prepared to work daily even if from morning to night, to help the Executive to deal with the pandemic at hand.
He said although he is prepared to go the extra mile to work to protect Ghanaians against the virus, “what I am not prepared to do sir, is to take risk that is needless. I am not prepared to risk exposure to the virus by coming to Parliament everyday just to come and work on bills that are of no emergency nature and do not relate to the Coronavirus.”
Read his full letter to the Speaker below