The Minority in Parliament has condemned what it calls the heavy deployment of security to Parliament.
In a statement, the Minority described the security deployment as “heavy-handed and Gestapo-style invasion” of Parliament.
“We strongly condemn the obvious creeping despotism and blatant misuse of the national security apparatus to advance narrow parochial partisan interests,” the statement added.
The Minority further demanded the “immediate withdrawal of this detachment of soldiers, police personnel and purported national security operatives.”
It is worried that security presence could lead to the “desecration of our highly revered parliamentary democracy and a grave affront to the dignity of the legislative arm.”
The Minority further stressed that it held President Akufo-Addo responsible for the deployment.
“We shall hold him liable for any breach or obstruction in the discharge of our lawful functions,” it added.
The Minority is currently at odds with the state after its leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and 19 of his caucus members were charged with unlawful assembly after they marched to the Electoral Commission’s (EC) head office in Accra in December to present a petition.
During their march, there were physical confrontations with police personnel who tried to halt their march.
They were expected in court on Monday but did not show up.
Mr. Iddrisu said members of the Minority Caucus have not been served with any court summons.
In addition, he said the Ghana Police Service was allowing itself to be manipulated by the state.
Find below the full statement
NDC CAUCUS IN PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS GESTAPO-STYLE SECURITY INVASION OF PARLIAMENT AND DEMANDS THEIR IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL
The NDC Caucus in Parliament notes with disgust and utter revulsion the heavy-handed and Gestapo-style invasion of the august House of Parliament by security personnel at the behest of the Akufo-Addo administration.
We strongly condemn the obvious creeping despotism and blatant misuse of the national security apparatus to advance narrow parochial partisan interests.
Parliaments in every democratic jurisdiction represent the bulwark of democratic freedoms and we insist that this excessive abuse of state power to intimidate Members of Parliament represents a desecration of our highly revered parliamentary democracy and a grave affront to the dignity of the legislative arm.
It is to uphold the universal tenets of good parliamentary democracy that our Standing Orders provide in Order 30:
“The following acts or conduct shall constitute a breach of privilege or contempt of Parliament –
I) causing or effecting the arrest of a Member or officer of Parliament during the proceedings of Parliament or in the course of his duties;
J) molestation of Members or officers in connection with the performance of their duties in or out of Parliament;
L) attempted intimidation by threats of Members in the conduct of their duties.”
We hold President Akufo-Addo as Commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and Chair of the National Security Council directly responsible for this unwarranted and reckless deployment. We shall hold him liable for any breach or obstruction in the discharge of our lawful functions.
The NDC caucus in Parliament demands the immediate withdrawal of this detachment of soldiers, police personnel and purported national security operatives.
We shall continue to resist the mindless assault on the pillars of our constitutional democracy. Ghana is not a dictatorship. Those who seek to erode our democratic gains and usher us into a tyrannic dispensation would be fought and defeated.
The NDC Parliamentary Caucus refuses to sit idle and allow the House of the People’s Representatives to be taken hostage in scenes reminiscent of the recent state-sponsored thuggery witnessed at EC Collation Centres where similar invasions led to needless loss of lives and injuries.
We are not a group to be intimidated by guns and might when we know we are on the side of the people, on the side of right, on the side of good conscience, on the side of justice and on the side of our national anthem which admonishes us to resist oppressor’s rule.
Hon. MP, Tamale South
[Minority Leader of the 7th Parliament.]