Tensions flared in Parliament when Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, directed scathing remarks at Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the running mate of former President John Mahama. His comments ignited a fierce debate on professionalism and respect in political discourse.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s performance in her prior government roles was questioned by Afenyo-Markin during a session debating the State of the Nation Address.

She was referred to as an “old cargo” who had not performed her obligations. He implied that the NDC’s choice of her as their vice presidential candidate shows a deficiency of vision.

Afenyo-Markin Sparks Controversy in Parliament

The minority group responded swiftly to the disparaging comments by calling on Afenyo-Markin to recant and issue an apology. Minority members expressed their disapproval of the heated exchange by pounding tables at the Parliament, which disrupted the debate.

To defuse the situation as tensions rose, Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako intervened and adjourned the meeting for one hour. The suspension made clear how important it is for parliamentarians to have civil and fruitful conversations.

Speaking on behalf of the Minority during the suspension, MP Dzifa Abla Gomashie underlined the necessity for Afenyo-Markin to provide an apology and take back his remarks.

Dzifa Abla Gomashie

She criticized the comments, pointing out that they were improper both culturally and professionally, and emphasized the need to honor Professor Opoku-Agyemang’s accomplishments.

Majority Chief Whip Frank Annoh Dompreh refuted the requests of the Minority, affirming that Afenyo-Markin’s remarks were meant to compare political figures’ records.

He asked colleagues to be patient and pay attention to important topics during discussions.

Following the continuation of the meetings, Afenyo-Markin apologized to Professor Opoku-Agyemang and withdrew the part of his statement that referred to her age.

Afenyo-Markin Sparks Controversy in Parliament
Afenyo-Markin Sparks Controversy in Parliament

Even still, tensions persisted despite the apology’s seeming temporary closure of the dispute.

Even though political discussions can get heated, politicians are advised to remain professional and refrain from insulting others.

It is hoped that in the future, the lessons acquired from this occurrence will help to create a more favorable atmosphere for productive discussion in Parliament.

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