On midnight of 7th January 2021, the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic will convene its first meeting after the dissolution of the 7th Parliament of our 4th Republic . With this comes a great responsibility for all 275 MP’s elect, who will have the onerous task to decide who the next Speaker of the 8th Parliament should be.
With a seeming hang Parliament as it currently stands; with NPP holding137 seats, NDC also holding 137 seats and 1 Independent Candidate who has promised to align with the NPP side, a lot will hinge on every single elected Member of Parliament to vote for whomever they prefer as their next Speaker.
The New Patriotic Party National Council at a recent meeting have endorsed Rt. Hon. Michael Aaron Oquaye to retain his seat as speaker. With every single NPP vote in the House required and that of the Independent Candidate being imperative, this creates a dicey situation for Prof. as he is affectionately known. This is because he is not expected to get a single vote from the NDC and as such needs the complete support of every single Member of Parliament of his party, the NPP. Whoever he has wronged in the past will have to let bygones be bygones and support his bid.
Step forward, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo who has had a very torrid history with Rt. Hon. Mike Oquaye and to a larger extent, his son, H.E. Mike Oquaye Junior, Ghana’s current High Commissioner to India, comes to mind.
Adwoa Safo made her foray into main stream politics by contesting Rt. Hon. Mike Oquaye in the NPP primaries preceding the 2008 elections as Parliamentary Candidate for the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency. It was her first and only loss thus far in her political career.
In the run up to the 2012 elections(2010 Parliamentary Primaries), she faced fierce competition this time against H.E. Mike Oquaye Junior and current Dome-Kwabenya Constituency Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Robert Osei Bonsu. She defeated both men to become the Parliamentary Candidate for the NPP in Dome-Kwabenya. It was in the 2012 election that she discovered the rigging machinery of the NDC in Dome-Kwabenya which led to the infamous 2012 Election Petition. Her discovery led to wide spread electoral reforms for both the Electoral Commission and the New Patriotic Party which largely led to the overwhelming victory of the party in the 2016 elections.
The 2015 Parliamentary primaries was the only time she did not come face to face with the Oquaye’s for the Dome-Kwabenya Seat. She won the Primaries and went to be elected to Parliament for her second terms.
This year, things took a turn for the worse when she had to once again come face to face with H.E. Mike Oquaye Junior in a very keen parliamentary contest. The primaries was a rather fierce competition with name calling and insults leveled at this young woman whose excellent works in the constituency was berated mostly by supporters of her opponent. She was lambasted and derided in the most undignified fashion.
Supporters of the Oquaye’s publicly and privately campaigned earnestly in the just ended December Elections urging constituents to vote Skirt and Blouse against Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo. This gave impetus to a virtually unknown NDC candidate who managed to garner more votes than was expected in what was mostly a skirt and blouse situation in areas where Mike Oquaye Junior had enormous support during the primaries.
This unfortunate situation could have resulted in NPP losing the Dome-Kwabenya seat for the first time but for the goodwill and support Hon. Adwoa Safo continues to enjoy from the constituents and party grassroots. This could have dented the fighting chance of the party in seeking for a majority in Parliament if the skirt and blouse policy vigorously propagated by supporters of Oquaye Jnr against Adwoa Safo had come to pass.
With all these happening just recently, no one would genuinely begrudge her if she chooses to put a spanner in the works by refusing to cast her vote to endorse Rt. Hon. Mike Oquaye as Speaker for the 8th Parliament.
If she, in the unlikely situation decides not to tow the party line, she would have the right to do so considering the shame and trauma she has been put through by the Oquye family.
The Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo we know, as a true and faithful proponent and believer of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, will most likely put the hurt of the past aside and do the needful for the good of the party. She cannot let the President and party down due to personal hurts. It is our prayer that she will once again rise to the occasion and do what she has to do in the ultimate interest of the party.
However, in the meantime, will Hon. Adwoa Safo Vote or Not on January 7 in the august house of Parliament?