Jamaludeen Abdullah, an aide to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, as well as the Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, Frank Annor Dompreh, have claimed that the minister indeed suffered cuts from a sharp object during the clash between Majority and Minority sides of Parliament on Monday, December 20, 2021.
Jamaludeen, has told various media houses that Mustapha Ussif, sustained a cut from a sharp object close to the eyes, but is recovering from the incident, and stated that the MP for Yagaba-Kubori is hale and hearty and discharging his duties as both MP and Minister.
The extent of Mustapha Ussif’s injuries, as well as his medical records and the health facility are yet to be made public, however, his colleague the Nsawam-Adoagyiri MP, has indicated that a probe will be initiated to fish out the perpetrator.
Ghanaian politicians, have a history of reporting assault and injury which turns out to be untrue but Frank Annor Dompreh, has insisted he saw Mustapha Ussif’s injury, bleeding and was there when he was taken to a hospital even though The Herald is aware Parliament has a state of the art clinic attended by many MPs, Speakers and ex-Speakers.
“What are we doing to ourselves? How can you cut the face of your colleague MP? The cameras and footages are there and we will all get to know who did that. If we [Majority] are lying too we will find out, we will find out,” Frank Annor Dompreh disclosed on Accra-based Neat FM.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, was involved in a brawl in parliament over the controversial E-levy on Monday and was seen on television receiving a hefty slap from a colleague MP on the side of the NDC.
Although, his shirt was seen visibly shredded while in the process of shoving some of his colleagues from the Speaker’s sitting area, he was never seen bleeding from an injury.
But his aide, Jamaludeen insists “It is true that hon. Mustapha Ussif suffered some cuts around his eye but I can tell you that he is very fine. There is a cut around his eye but he is doing very fine.”
Yesterday, the house decided to suspend sitting sine die. It is expected that the house will reconvene in January 2022.
Nsawam-Adoagyiri MP, claimed that he and his colleagues were devastated following the incident as the victim was bleeding and had to be rushed to the hospital.
According to him, the issue must not be swept under the carpet, urging all and sundry to watch the footage and condemn the act.
“We must name and shame the MP involved. Even if it is the Majority, we must do so because the path we are treading is disgusting and we need to do something about it,” he cautioned.
But the MP for Odododiodio Constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, has explained why the Minority and Majority, engaged in fisticuffs in the chamber on Monday, December 20, 2021, during the voting on the controversial E-levy bill.
He blamed the chaos in the House on the NPP side. “They decided to attack our people. They decided to prevent us from making sure we defended our rights,” the Odododiodio MP told JoyNews on Monday night.
The disorder which was by then gathering momentum went haywire after the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu [Joe Wise] vacated the chair for Second Deputy Speaker to take over.
The move by Joe Wise was an attempt to vote for the passage of the E-levy bill which the minority had countered.
The Minority, had earlier contended that per parliament’s standing orders, the Speaker of Parliament does not have a casting vote, however, Joe Osei-Owusu, indicated that he would still vote.
Just when Joe Wise was about to step down for the Second Deputy to take over, the Minority took the stage.
In the process, the Minority clashed with the Majority with members of both sides exchanging blows. Parliament was adjourned to the following day, Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 9:00 am.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has said that First Deputy Speaker, was excusing himself during Monday night’s sitting to take his medication and go to the washroom.
According to him, however, the Bekwai MP, was not well and, so, needed a respite during the balloting on the floor about whether or not the controversial 1.75 per cent e-levy should be considered under a certificate of urgency.
“Is it the case that a speaker can’t even excuse himself to visit the loo?” Is that the case?” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, asked in an interview with the parliamentary press.
“The man was indisposed”, he noted, adding: “He was shivering”.
“And he went to the clinic; the record is there. So, we had to persuade him to come and sit. He was in the chamber and he was shaking like a leaf.”
“We had to go and prevail on him to come and preside”, the Suame MP stressed.
“Of course”, he pointed out, “if he’s presiding, given his own long tenure in Parliament, his own understanding of the rules and procedures in Parliament, we thought that he’d be able to navigate crises periods, with respect, much more than the second deputy speaker but it was getting too much for him”.
“So, he said he wanted to excuse himself to take his medication and then, perhaps, to come back if he felt okay, or, perhaps, maybe to sit somewhere,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said.
Asked, if Mr Osei-Owusu was not excusing himself, so he could take part in the voting on the floor, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu retorted: “What if he did? What if he did to take his medication and he came, voting was not over and he thought that because somebody else what presiding he could participate in that? What of that? Is there any illegality in that? There’s no illegality”.
Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, has urged President Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to take advantage of Parliament’s break to engage the leadership of the National Democratic Congress on ways they can streamline funding sources for government.
Haruna Iddrisu noted during an interaction with the media on Tuesday that it is imperative that the government reaches out to the opposition party and other stakeholders to ensure that consensus is built on the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).
The Tamale South MP, said that the President and his Finance Minister, have no clear idea what they seek to get from the E-levy and are just bandying figures about.
He explained that if the government was aware of what it was doing, it would not have engaged the telecommunication companies to reduce the charges on mobile money transactions.
The Minority Leader, said that the heart of the issue is the double deductions and taxations Ghanaians will suffer and not a reduction of the deductions.
“What happened in Parliament is an indication to the president that he must consult more with the leadership of the opposition party and other stakeholders. What has happened is to allow for deeper consultations on the way forward on the nature of what needs to be done to raise revenue for government. We have all resolved that we will not support the E-levy in its current form or nature.
“President Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Finance do not even understand what they are doing. Ghanaians must be told that the E-levy is going to be charged 1.75% not 1%. Currently Vodafone doesn’t charge any percentage so if you say MTN 0.25, what about the other telcos. Ghanaians must be made aware of this. President Akufo-Addo does not understand these things,” he told the press.