An unprecedented confusion has rocked Ghana’s delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, bringing about what some members are calling “international embarrassment to the country.”
The troubles followed the refusal of Fred Opare Ansah, NPP MP for Suhum, to step down as a Member of the regional legislature.
The Suhum MP has been a member of the ECOWAS Parliament until the Majority NPP Leadership in Ghana’s Legislature reconstituted the Ghanaian delegation to Abuja in a recent statement published by the Ghanaian media.
The reconstituted Ghanaian delegation, which does not include the Suhum MP, has Majority Chief Whip, Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, as leader. Members of the delegation are O.B Amoah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwapim South, Ama Pomaah Boateng Andoh MP for Juaben, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Effutu MP, Kwabena Appiah-Pinkrah member for Akrofuom.
The rest are member for Anlo, Clement Kofi Humado, Mahama Ayariga, Bawku Central MP, Sampson Ahi, MP for Bodi, and the Majority Chief Whip Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, MP for Sunyani East.
Sources say the decision to reconstitute the delegation was taken without any formal communication to the Suhum MP.
When the Abuja-based Legislature reopened for business today, the Speaker of the House declined to swear the reconstituted Ghanaian delegation into office because of what sources have called a “major confusion” over the membership of the delegation. “Ghana has simply been embarrassed today,” one source told this writer on the line from Nigeria’s capital.
“This is unpardonable; so humiliating and completely unnecessary.” “Apparently, Opare Ansah, an existing member of the ECOWAS Parliament, was not informed or consulted by the leadership of the Ghana Parliament before he was dropped from the delegation,” another source added.
“So he naturally refused to step down when confronted with the list detailing the new membership of the Ghana delegation”.
Mr. Opare-Ansah’s reported refusal to step down meant that Ghana’s delegation exceeded the number allocated the country.
“Ghana has eight seats in the ECOWAS Parliament. By Opare Ansah’s refusal to buck down the Ghana delegation jumped to 9, a situation that made it impossible for the authorities here in Abuja to admit the team from Accra,” a delegate from another West African country told this writer via phone.
Insiders say the level of embarrassment provoked by the confusion over the membership of the Ghanaian delegation forced Efutu MP, Alex Afenyo-Markin, to offer to sacrifice his position on the delegation.
“Afenyo-Markin has elected to sacrifice himself just to save Ghana further international embarrassment. It was so bad that the Speaker announced on the floor that he could not swear in the Ghanaian Delegation,” another source close to the situation in Abuja said via phone.
Sources say despite the Efutu MP’s “bold and patriotic decision” to pull out of the delegation, the authorities in Abuja are insisting on further clarifications from Accra before swearing the Ghana delegation into office.
When contacted via phone, Afenyo Markin declined to confirm or deny the reports. At the time of filing this report, Fred Opare Ansah was not available for comment.