“I have watched with shock and consternation the callous and maliciously orchestrated attempt by members of the Minority in Parliament to belittle, lampoon and ridicule the newly elected Members of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Ms Lydia Seyram Alhassan.
“It is sad that, this shameful display was carried out in no other place than the Parliament of Ghana – 26 years after Ghana made global commitments towards respecting women and promoting the involvement of women in politics.
“If women who engage in politics are lampooned in the way and manner witnessed in Parliament on Tuesday, then no number of safe seats would be sufficient in improving the dwindling fortunes of female politicians.”
This statement, which was widely circulated on the social media, was attributed to the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings. Our checks, however, revealed that Mrs Rawlings did not issue this statement, and that it was one of the usual pranks on social media. This notwithstanding, we still find the content of this statement relevant to our discussion.
It is not for nothing that many well-meaning people are mad with rage at the baseless behaviour of the Minority Members of Parliament on the floor of Parliament of all places.
The more surprising is the fact that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) women parliamentarians also took part in tagging the newly-elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, “Bloody Widow”.
As women, they should have, at least, sympathised with Ms Alhassan, who is still naturally overwhelmed by the death of her husband. Besides such a show of sympathy, they should have advised their male counterparts to desist from such demoralising behaviour.
Even though the Minority in Parliament gave reason for their action, that Miss Alhassan was elected out of “brutal violence”, many critical observers may interpret their weird action to mean that it was Ms Alhassan who killed her husband. And is this true, Honourables?
The Chronicle believes that the Minority MPs have regretted their action and accepted the fact that “to err is human”. Any sign of remorse should, therefore, be expressed in, and translated into an apology, which always puts cold water on explosive situations.
An apology is extremely relevant against the background of the fact that for the next twenty two months, Lydia Seyram Alhassan is going to be with them in the august House, and that all ill feelings against her should be banished for the sake of peaceful discussions in the House.
Lydia Seyram Alhassan has already shown the way by forgiving her parliamentary attackers. Hear her: “I do not know what their interest is, but I will say that, I have forgiven them and ask our good Lord to forgive all of you…”
The Chronicle also draws the attention of Minority MPs to the sentiments expressed by Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Dean of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana.
“The Minority was out of line. If the Minority will take time to reflect and want women to be part of politics, they will apologise. It is important that members of society teach people how to disagree in a civilised manner.”