George Mireku Duker, the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency, says it is improper for members of the Parliamentary press corps to be ‘conducting other matters’ when parliament is in session.
He was reacting to recent criticisms against Rt Hon Speaker, Prof Mike Ocquaye after he reportedly threatened the parliamentary press corps.
Speaking on the floor of the House, the Speaker indicated that he will not hesitate to declare journalists as strangers to parliament by revoking their accreditation if due coverage is not given to proceedings in the House.
“It is forbidden if they have any doubt to abandon the permission given them to cover proceeding in this honorable House and go outside the chamber itself and do some other work……. and I want to let the media know if that which was reported to have happened should happen anymore I will……on the fact that you are here as a guest……any, such act will make you unwelcomed guest…,” he warned.
His remarks came on the heels of a complaint from the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu to the effect that journalists abandoned proceedings of the House to give audience to the MP for Ellembelle Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah who had concerns about the Energy sector aspect of the President’s 2020 State of the Nation Address.
Some have described the Speaker’s comments as a way of attempting to censure the medai.
However, Mireku Duker says the Rt Hon Mike Oquaye was only cautioning the media because the incident appears to be repeating itself.
According to him, “they should have waited for proceedings in parliament to be over before conducting other matters.”
“…the day the Minority walked out (on the day of the SoNA) the press corps followed them outside and the same thing was repeated during the SoNA debate; hence the Speaker had to caution…He’s the Speaker. It is not proper to get up while parliament is in session. The press has its freedom and the Speaker cannot determine what you cover but that doesn’t mean you can just get up and galavant about parliament anytime you feel like,” he added.