Dean of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana, Prof Kofi Agyekum, popularly known as Opanyin Agyekum, has bemoaned the absence of New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) during the debate on the 2023 Budget and Economic Statement in the House.
According to him, the travel by the NPP MPs to Qatar for the World Cup at the expense of the budget debate show their lack of respect for Ghanaians and their constituents who voted for them.
Speaking in a Peace FM interview monitored by GhanaWeb, Opanyin Agyekum added that the failure of the NPP MPs to appear for the 2023 budget debate will certainly affect the fortunes of the party in the upcoming elections.
“… If Kufuor was not alive, he will be rolling in his tomb when he sees that NPP MPs are boycotting the budget debate for their own government. I didn’t understand this, it makes no sense that a party in government will boycott the debate of its own budget.
“It would have been okay if the opposition MPs were the ones who were absent but they were even more the MPs of the government in power. They (the NPP MPs) are destroying the party because of one man, Ofori-Atta.
“These are the things that lead parties to opposition. These are the things that discourage people from voting for you. They will not vote for the NDC (National Democratic Congress). If I vote for you and this is how you’re going to behave why won’t I sleep,” he said in Twi.
The minority caucus in Parliament expressed concern on Tuesday (October 29) about the absence of members from the majority side from the House.
The concern was anchored on the premise that the debate on the 2023 budget, as presented by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, was expected to start with a race to pass the Appropriation Bill in time.
Though no official reason was given for the mass absence of the majority members, GhanaWeb checks show that some of the majority Members of Parliament (MPs) were out of the jurisdiction.
At least three of them were spotted in Qatar, where the 2022 FIFA World Cup is ongoing.
One of the MPs who has been in Qatar for the past two weeks is Mustapha Ussif of Yagaba-Kubori, who doubles as Minister of Youth and Sports.
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West Constituency, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, was also spotted in Qatar, according to social media posts.
Minister of Energy and Manhyia South MP, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh was also in Qatar cheering on the Black Stars.
Patrick Yaw Boamah, Okaikwei Central MP was also in Qatar, where he shared photos of himself on the streets and at the stadium supporting Otto Addo and his charges.
Watch the interview below: