The Bono Regional Professionals Forum (Proforum) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has congratulated the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) and leadership for what they described as their gallantry display of patriotism in vehemently rejecting the 2022 ‘Awudie’ (killer) budget statement and economic policy of the government.
The budget, which was presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, last week Wednesday, was rejected by the Minority after Speaker, Alban Bagbin, subjected the approval of same to a voice vote in Parliament on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Though the Majority staged a walk-out, the Speaker said their absence could not prevent the House from proceeding with the business of the day.
A release dated November 27, 2021, and signed by the Secretary, Peter Suaka, indicated that the budget was already rejected by the ordinary people of Ghana even before the debate started on the Floor of Parliament.
The release said the protection of the people is the essence of governance, however, “it is obvious that in less than a year after the questionable re-election of this New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, that this important element of governance has been thrown to the dogs and therefore, no structure of the NDC including our Minority Caucus in Parliament should be seen or even perceived to be facilitating that misguided disposition of a government in power.”
The Bono Proforum further reminded the Minority Caucus in Parliament that “they remain the only voice and hope for the numerous jobless youth of this country – whose expectations have been dampened by this budget; the struggling small and medium scale business owners – who depend hugely on e-transactions for survival; the already overtaxed and overburdened impoverished public and civil servants – who are struggling to make ends meet with their meager incomes and would have been victims of double and triple tax if this repugnant killer budget was approved.”
They said for these reasons, the NDC MPs cannot afford to fail the people of Ghana.
The group, in its release, also congratulated the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K Bagbin, “for demonstrating courage and professionalism amid attacks and intimidation from the selfish and insensitive Majority Caucus and the apparatchiks of the governing NPP by upholding the truth and identifying with the powerless and suffering voiceless majority.”
The Bono Proforum also assured the Speaker of their prayers and unflinching support in the discharge of his duties in the interest of the people.
“We recognize that every elected government in Ghana has a four-year mandate, but we also understand that participatory democracy does not end after the election. When the opposition fails, the government fails. Ghanaians expect more of this patriotism and fortitude in your course of providing alternative governance to the people of Ghana until the next election,” the release concluded.
Meanwhile, the Majority Caucus has said the rejection of the budget by Parliament is unconstitutional and of no binding effect since the House did not have the required number of MPs present for a decision to be taken when they walked out.
They insist they will ensure the budget is pushed through when the House reconvenes on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.