Speaker urges MPs to take lead
June 30, 2021
By Jariatu S. Jusu
The Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass C. Bundu, has urged lawmakers to provide the required leadership in the uptake of the coronavirus vaccine as their constituents are looking forward to them.
“We as MPs owe it to Parliament, the constituents, and the nation as well, hence, we ought to show leadership. With our engagement, am sure we will make a huge difference with the SOEs (State of Emergency regulations) as we have an Attorney General that understands the rules of Parliament,” he said.
He said officials from the National Covid Emergency Response Center (NaCOVERC) met with the leadership of the House to discuss the proactive measures government would take to protect its people in bringing SOEs.
“I don’t want us to take this issue lightly; I have lost a very close relative of mine who passed away on Sunday and is yet to be buried. This situation is serious and we hope we don’t have people who are in denial as it will do you no good,” he said.
“One thing that we must make abundantly clear is to make sure they avoid the repeat of what the Executive did for the SOEs. Fortunately, we now have Attorney General (AG) that is fully aware of the role of Parliament. We had problem the last time because we had a different AG that do not know better”.
He said the government was quite aware that MPs are important in the sensitization process and that there was no need that they would be left behind.
“I am sure the government is aware of MPs in the sensitization of citizens. I am aware that the people remembered Ebola saga, but in a different way. During Ebola, one could see dead bodies in the streets but the situation is quite different from the Covid. The evidence was there to see but with this Covid, there is no evidence, that is why the denial is high, but we need to sensitize the people,” he added.
Opposition Whip, Hon. Hassan Sesay, said they were quite aware about the seriousness of the virus and that they would appreciate if the government would have given them prior notice, thus noting that the government should follow the correct procedures.
“Let them be prepared to bring the requisite documents and not to do the wrongs that were done in the previous emergency. We are prepared to support it but let it be done the right way,” he emphasized.
According to the Leader of Government Business, Hon. Matthew Nyuma, nobody is safe until scientific guidelines are followed. He said they were in discussion to see the role Parliament could play as the death rate and number of positive cases is on the increase.
He supported the points raised by the opposition Whip for the government to follow the correct procedures should they want to bring to parliament any SOEs.
“This thing is very serious and nobody is safe unless we do the correct thing. I am asking all of us to take a jab and follow suit. We have started consultations and what we want is to make sure that a robust action be taken”.
Leader of National Grand Coalition, Hon. Kandeh K. Yumkella, said the trend of the virus has become more crucial, stating that it is high time MPs involved in the sensitization process as most people are still in doubt about the existence of the virus.