October 22, 2015

My attention has been drawn to a feature story captioned as above and carried by the graphic.com.gh website and a host of other news portals on 18 September, 2015.

I hereby wish to correct the wrong impression the story has created.

The report wrongly cited me as part of the parliamentarians who during the 1st meeting of 2014, were absent without permission from 15 sittings. Mrs Della Sowah MP for Kpandoh and myself (Sulemana Alijata Gbentie) were captured in that assessment.

It is regrettable that the said Researcher, allegedly a University student outside the bounds of this country, could unfortunately use few periods to discredit my punctuality in the chamber.

The wrong data collated and analysed by a certain Sagoe-Moses known to be the researcher of this findings with further publications on another online website odekro.org has furnished my constituents and Ghanaians at large with a report that is not only inaccurate but malicious.

The facts

It may be of interest to note that during the period under review, I was on a parliament sponsored trip to Israel to represent the state in the Political Empowerment of Women Programme.

The programme organized by the State of Israel was in collaboration with the UN Women Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO).

It was scheduled between 3-27 February, 2014.

I wish to state that nothing justifies my absence from parliament at each sitting, except in instances where I am on official assignment or indisposed which I always notify the Speaker, as and when it’s necessary.

I am fully aware of the serious implication of continuous absenteeism from parliament without the written permission of the Rt Hon Speaker. I therefore seek to establish that I wouldn’t dare act in such an irresponsible manner as an Honourable member of Ghana’s legislature, as highlighted in Article 97 clause 1 ( c ) which states that, any MP who is absent, without the written permission of the Speaker from 15 sittings of a meeting of Parliament and is unable to offer a reasonable explanation for his absence to Parliament’s privileges committee must vacate his or her seat.

Sulemana Alijata Gbentie

Sissala East Constituncy (MP)