February 4, 2013

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker of Parliament, has urged lawmakers to build consensus on issues of peace, partnership and harmony to mitigate the current politically intolerance in the country.

He said at all times, the national interest should override individual or partisan considerations.

Mr Adjaho said the Legislature must be the conduit to prevent feelings of disadvantage, grievances, fear and despair that could lead to division, violence and instability.

The Speaker was speaking at the opening of a five-day orientation seminar for the 273 members of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic in Accra over the weekend on the theme: “Harmony in Diversity in Parliament after Elections.”

The meeting will enable members, especially newly-elected members of parliament (MPs) to acquaint themselves with the procedures and proceedings in the House.

Mr Adjaho noted that an environment of political intolerance does not create the enabling atmosphere for civil society, and the citizenry to freely express their views and opinions that are important features in any democratic state.

“I wish to urge that we continue to dialogue on issues of peace, partnership and harmony in order to reduce the ill-feelings of the disadvantaged, grievances, fear and despair which may lead to division, violence and instability.

“Parliamentarians must partner at all times and let national interest override any other individual interest. We must as much as possible, seek to partner or build consensus on bills and other businesses that are brought before the House.

“Let us always remember that we have important responsibility to discharge and our nation expects us to act with commitment and integrity in fulfilling these responsibilities…Whether society accords us the necessary respect and recognition or not depends upon how we discharge these responsibilities,” he said.

Wulugu Naba Pugansoa Naa Professor Nabila, President of the National House of Chiefs implored parliamentarians to use the House to initiate change and transformation in policies that would lead to socio-economic development.

He said Ghana is at the verge of change as many ideas emerged during last year’s electioneering aimed at building the country’s economic, social and cultural systems.

The traditional leader urged the MPs to apply their intellect to dignity and culture, reverence of traditional institutions to make the youth cherish time tested traditional values that made Ghana great and proud.

“I entreat you to apply your mind to the coalition of good ideas for the sake of mother Ghana,” he said.

Rev Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council said notwithstanding the political differences of the MPs, the essence of a shared destiny should be the driving force that should connect them together in their collective efforts to serve the nation.

He said they should understand that in spite of their different political persuasions and agenda, the constituencies they represent in parliament transcends parochial partisanship.

“Parliamentarians should understand that the country that they represent is bigger that any one of their parties and they owed it a duty to the country to make a difference.

“For the nation to move forward in its holistic development there is the need for a shared agenda and parliament should provide a national platform of peaceful and mutual conditions for the nation debates and discursions on diverse ideas in an environment of trust, confidence and mutual respect of differing positions and stance,” he said.

Rev Asante exhorted Parliament to reflect the popular will of the people and also mirror social diversity.

He called on the House to constantly evaluate its procedures, rules and mode of work to ensure that they facilitate inclusiveness, harmony in diversity and partnership in decision making to reach solution that would move the country forward.