Special forces

A HIGHLY anticipated deliberation on the Special Forces of the Ghana Armed Forces failed to come on in Parliament yesterday even though the Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith, was in the House to respond to the issue.

Gen. Smith was in the House to answer a question from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Jaman South, Yaw Afful, who had asked the minister about the mode of selection, terms and conditions of service and the rules of engagement for the Special Forces in the Ghana Armed Forces.

It would be recalled that the out-dooring of the Special Forces, clad in a special military uniform at the Independence Square during this year?s Independence Day celebration, set tongues wagging and also generated a lot of discussions in both the print and the electronic media.

The defence minister had taken his seat in the House?s chamber long before proceedings began, but when he was called to answer the question, the mood in the House compelled the First Deputy Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, to prematurely adjourn sitting.

The House?s chamber was virtually empty due to circumstances beyond the control of lawmakers as some MPs had travelled to Kumasi to mourn with the family of the late Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Kwabre West MP, who passed away a week ago.

The Minority side was virtually empty as it was gathered that most of the MPs had travelled to the Garden City to take part in the one week celebration of their departed colleague.

When Adjaho, who is also the MP for Avenor-Ave invited the minister to answer the question, the Minority Chief Whip, Frederick Opare-Ansah, requested that due to the importance attached to the question, it would be appropriate for more MPs to be present before the answer was provided.

His suggestion was supported by the MP for New Juaben North, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, who is also a former minister of state in charge of various portfolios including the Interior under the Kufuor administration.

Before adjourning the House, Mr. Adjaho commended the defence minister for ?performing his constitutional duty? by responding to the invitation from the House.

He directed the Business Committee of the House to consider the matter and see whether it could be possible to invite the minister to the House again to answer the question.

 By Awudu Mahama

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