An attempt by the Minister of Defence, Mr Mark Woyongo, to order Members of Parliament (MPs) to observe a minute’s silence in honour of soldiers who had died in defence of humanity was foiled when the Speaker of Parliament reminded him that he had no such power in the House to do so.
At the tail end of a statement to commemorate Remembrance Day, which falls on November 11, every year, Mr Woyongo had requested the entire House to rise for a minute to pay homage to the fallen heroes. At the end of the statement when he found that the MPs were still on their seats, he repeated his request and said, “Honourable members, we will stand to observe a minute’s silence in memory of our gallant fallen soldiers.”
His request, however, sent the entire House laughing, as the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, reminded him that he had no such power to ask the House to stand to observe a minute’s silence. “Honourable Member, you don’t come to this House and seize control of proceedings. If the mood in the House after the end of the statement demanded so, I will make the order,” he said, compelling Mr Woyongo to apologise before resuming his seat.
(Click to listen to the audio)
Mr Mark Woyongo’s statement
In his statement, Mr Woyongo had applauded Parliament for working tirelessly to pass the Veterans Administration Act, Act 844, to ensure that proper attention was paid to the welfare of veterans honourably released from the military. It would also see to the maintenance and comfort of those who required special treatment, such as the disabled, the sick, the aged, the infirm, the needy and the destitute.
“It is my prayer that the government and all our countrymen and women will work diligently towards the promotion of peace and development, just like the contributions of these soldiers who have exhibited discipline, hard work, good moral standards and other virtues for the development and progress of society,” he said..
Mr Woyongo reminded Ghanaians that without security, no development would thrive, and added that insecurity impacted negatively on the living standards of the people.
Contributing to the statement, the MP for Okaikoi Central, Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, expressed worry over the poor treatment of the country’s veterans. He called for the proper care of military museums to enable future generations to learn about and appreciate the contributions of veterans.
For his part, the Majority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, said Ghana needed to find a way to bring back the concept of volunteerism as exhibited by some veteran soldiers. The MP for Akuapem North, Mr William Ofori Boafo, urged Ghanaians not only to be happy about elaborate ceremonies to commemorate Remembrance Day but also put in place measures to adequately reward veteran soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for humanity.
After the contributions, however, Mr Adjaho led the House to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the gallant veteran soldiers.
Source: Daily Graphic