There is a lingering question regarding who gave the order for military personnel to be deployed to the premises of the Parliamentary chambers during the voting process for a Speaker for the august house.
Fingers have been pointed at leadership of the New Patriotic Party caucus as well as Defence Minister for the deployment of the military into the Parliamentary chambers in the wee hours of Thursday, January 7, 2021.
Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Murtala Mohammed alleged that his colleague legislator placed the call to the military.
But narrating the timelines of incidents during the dissolution of the 7th Parliament and the voting of the Speaker of the 8th, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, a former Majority Leader, disclosed to GhanaWeb in an exclusive interview that he asked the Marshall department to invite police personnel into the august house in order to protect the balloting process.
He proffered that he resorted to that after leadership from both divides could not reach a consensus to organise a rerun of the balloting on three occasions.
He, however, added that he was surprised when he saw that the police came in the company of soldiers armed to the teeth, a sight he described as “unfortunate.”
“I asked the Marshall department that we have had three failed attempts. Can you bring in the Police… the Marshall department works closely with the police… Can you bring the police to protect the balloting? That’s what I said. When the police were coming, unfortunately, we had soldiers there, well-armed – and I thought that also was not the best of arrangements. And my colleagues then said we should have the police and the soldiers move from the arena of the chamber before we could continue with the voting…” the former Majority Leader told GhanaWeb.
“At that time, I could see the strong resolve to frustrate the voting process. However, we said, ok, let them recline to the extreme corners of the chamber so that if there was anything, they could assist us to protect the voting process…” Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu furthered.