A leading member of pressure group Occupy Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford, has said that he will retract and render an unqualified apology to Parliament for his comments.
The anti-corruption campaigner is likely to be hauled before Ghana’s parliament for contempt following alleged derogatory comments he made against the legislature.
Casely-Hayford is reported to have said at a summit on “The Economic and Political Rise of Africa” that Ghana would have been better off without Parliament.
He reportedly said that if given the chance he will “break down” the law-making house and turn it into a tourist site.
“These people are sitting there, spending money like crazy, making stupid decisions, and passing stupid laws. They don’t read the papers that they are given, they don’t think through what the challenges are…The first thing I will do if I had the opportunity is to break down parliament. We don’t need it. Maybe if we break it down we are wasting money but maybe we can use it as a tourist attraction, we can say, this is what we used to do in the past, so come for a tour and then we should just poster it all so people can see,” he reportedly said.
The Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak who is not happy with the comments has since called on the Speaker of the House to haul the anti-corruption campaigner before the House to justify the claims
Ras Mubarak further argued that if Casely-Hayford’s claims rubbished, “it will set a very bad precedent and create more room for people to impugn the reputation of members of this house.”
“So Mr. Speaker I wish therefore to call on this honourable house to call the gentleman to appear before the House to answer contempt charges,” he added.
The First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Wusu who chaired the session has referred the matter to the leadership of the House for consideration.
But Sydney Casely-Hayford has stated that his comments were not to incite people against the lawmaking chamber.
“My comments went a little too far because in the heat of passion of what we were discussing, it was important that I made a strong delivery and if parliament is upset because I used certain words that did not fly the content and crass of what I was trying to say [which] is still the very same thing I am saying now,” he told Accra-based Starr FM.
“Unreservedly an apology will be made and I will make it to the media shortly.
“This has got nothing to incite. What am I going to incite them? If I had wanted to incite them I wouldn’t have mentioned the fact that we need ten additional parliaments across the country. Why would I dissolve one and then create ten? It has got nothing with inciting anybody,” he said.