Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has denied saying that he granted permission to Dome-Kwabenya Member of Parliament Sarah Adwoa Safo to absent herself from Parliament on health grounds.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Thursday February 24, he revealed that he has received several calls from the media on this issue.
“It is important I defuse some fake news which is being circulated that I granted interview to say that Honourable Adwoa Safo received permission from me to absent herself from parliament on health grounds. I want it to be known by all that I have not granted any such interview anywhere, I have not said anything like that anywhere.
“The votes and proceedings of the house are so loud that she is absent without permission for all those days. That is the votes and proceedings of the House, it is not the speaker who determines who is present and who is absent, no. The votes and proceedings will capture those wo are present , those who are absent and those who are absent with permission.”
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Freddie Blay had said Adwoa Safo asked permission to be away for sometime.
“Adwoa Safo had asked permission to be away for sometime,” he said when asked about the whereabout of the Gender Minister.
When asked again why members of the NPP are worried about her absence if indeed she asked permission to be away, he answered “why shouldn’t people be worried. We are in parliament where the numbers are almost at par except that we have one person majority over the NDC.
“People need to vote for E-levy or any matter that will come to Parliament. Parliament is sharply divided over many issues and the vote is critical. We need every single vote to add to our numbers and therefore, party leadership, government and even the President, we are worried about it.
“We want our numbers to be in a situation where we can take advantage of our majority,” he told TV3’s Evelyn Tengmaa in an interview on Wednesday February 23.
Some members of the NPP believe Adwoa Safo is sabotaging the government. For instance, the MP for New Juabeng South, Michael Okyere Baafi, said she is making the work of the government in Parliament difficult.
“All the problems government is facing are attributable to Adwoa Safo. Clearly, her intention and posture show that she wants to sabotage NPP,” he said on Kumasi-based Hello FM.
The MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong has also revealed that the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare gave him ¢120,000 to be deposited into the bank account of Adwoa Safo for her to attend to Parliament duties to work for the government.
“The Chief of Staff called me and I went, I swear my mother’s grave, Chief of Staff gave me ¢120,000 and deposited into Adwoa Safo’s Fidelity Bank account.
“I took the money there into the Fidelity Account, ask her personal assistant if what I am saying is not the truth,” a furious Kennedy Agyapong said.
He added “Now we are in opposition, the way Adwoa Safo is treating the party, it is clearly showing that we are in opposition and this shouldn’t be tolerated at all,” he told Asaase Radio on Tuesday February 22.
Mr Agyapong had raised issues against the conduct of Sarah Adwoa Safo.
He said that the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has failed in life for requesting that she should be made a Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament.
He wondered why a cabinet minister will now want to occupy a position that is below the rank of a Minister.
Speaking on her rampant absence from Parliament, Mr Agyapong, who has two children with her, said: “She says she wants to be Deputy Majority, that woman has failed in life. A whole cabinet minister now demanding that she should be made a Deputy Majority Leader before she comes, she should go to hell.
“You don’t come to Parliament and you are on TikTok dancing? Dome Kwabenya is not for Apostle Kwadwo Safo, get it straight. I am very furious because people are insulting me because I went there to campaign for her. Mike Oquaye the Speaker, the man that I respect very well, I campaigned against his son because Adwoa used my kids, calling me and begging me to help her. And now everybody is insulting me for doing that but I have not regretted it, she is very responsible when it comes to the kids,” he said on GTV Monday, February 21.
Asked how many days she has been absent from Parliament, he answered: “More than 15 days and the law says 15 days.”
Asked again whether Ghanaians should expect her seat to be declared vacant, he said: “Why not? She should go and contest on TikTok.”