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Photos: MPs defy Akufo-Addo’s directive to organise a party at Aqua Safari

Members of Parliament (MPs) breached COVID-19 protocols and organised a party to end a three-day training on processes and proceedings of Parliament for new MPs at Aqua Safari in Ada

In some photos published on the official Facebook page of the Parliament of Ghana which has since been deleted, MPs from both sides of the House were seen on the dance floor, dancing their hearts out.

“One of the ways people bond with each other is through music and dance. After a hard two day’s work, new Members of Parliament took to the dance floor to release some stress,” caption to the photos read.

There was no social distancing.

By that below-par behaviour, the MPs have not only defied the president but have also undermined the law passed by Parliament based on which the president issued the COVID-19 directives.

The president’s televised 23rd COVID-19 address on Sunday 31 January 2021 barred anyone from organising parties, funerals or weddings.

The workshop for parliamentarians ended on Monday, 08 February 2021, which clearly means that the party took place after the president’s directives.

The workshop preceding the dance party was attended by Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of the 8th Parliament; Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Majority Leader; Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader; Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, Clerk to Parliament and some former MPs and experts.

The attitude of the legislators is a great concern especially when Alban Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament, admonished the MPs to take COVID-19 safety protocols seriously and strictly adhere to them because some members have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Even in the House, some members are afflicted by the COVID-19. You may not know who the person is and because of the protocol issues of confidentiality, we are not disclosing those who are now COVID-19 victims. But we have some of us in that category,” Bagbin said.

There were reports in the media that some MPs were unwilling to go for COVID-19 tests during a three-day health screening exercise organised for the MPs.

The reports indicated that less than a third of the House participated in the free COVID-19 testing, forcing the exercise to be extended.

In a subsequent reportage, Joseph Osei Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament revealed: “Some Members of Parliament who have, in fact, tested positive to the COVID are still coming to the Chamber. Mr Speaker wishes me to inform you that if those members do not withdraw and isolate, he will be forced to publish the names of members who have tested positive in order to warn the rest of us.”

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