Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin was absent on Tuesday, July 6, when protesters arrived at parliament to present a petition as part of the ‘March for Justice’ demonstration organized by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In the absence of the speaker, leaders of the Majority and Minority caucuses received the petition promising that appropriate action will be taken on the demands.
According to GhanaWeb sources, the speaker is currently out of the country on official assignment hence his absence when the ‘March for Justice’ protesters arrived to present their petition.
This position is corroborated by Joy News journalist, Joseph Opoku Gakpo who disclosed on the station’s Top Story programme of July 6 that Alban Bagbin was currently in Nigeria.
“He (Alban Bagbin) has travelled out of the jurisdiction, he has accepted an invitation from his colleague speaker in the Nigerian Senate (Ahmed Lawan) and he has gone there for an occasion, which is how come he was absent today when the petitioners came to the House,” Gakpo said.
According to reports, leadership of the house want to confer with Bagbin before whatever actionable steps there are to be taken will be resorted to.
It is widely believed that the petition will be referred to the Defense and Interior as well as the Legal and Constitutional Affairs committees.
On the floor of the house, leadership of parliament spoke about the need to mend relations between civilians and the security forces.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on his part said since the coming into force of the 1992 Consitution, there have been clashes of such nature which are unacceptable.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Idrissu, on his part, hailed the NDC youth wing for staging the demonstration to highlight general problems afflicting the country.
Before arriving in parliament, the protest leaders had stopped at the presidency to present a copy of the petition to the president.
The party’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia and Women’s Organiser Hannah Bissiw presented the petition which was received at the Jubilee House by a Deputy Chief of Staff, Emmanuel Adumua-Bossman.