Hon Seidu Haruna, Member of Parliament(MP) for Wenchi in the Bono Region, has assured his constituents of his resolved to work hard to justify the confidence reposed in him during the December 7, 2020 general elections.
He said his one month in parliament has opened his eyes and he has resolved to work hard to boost the economic development and to create an enabling environment for jobs to improve livelihood.
Hon Haruna made these remarks in an interview with EXPRESSNEWSGHANA in parliament after he had had induction and orientation programme organized by Parliament for first time MPs at the weekend in Accra.
The three-day orientation programme at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, was to expose the new MPs to the role and function of Parliament as well as the rules and procedures members should follow to make their contribution on the floor or at the committee level.
The young lawmaker who described himself as the grassroots man said he is well informed of the fundamental problems affecting his constituents and would use resources available to harness the potential of his people, especially the youth and women.
He expressed gratitude to the people Wenchi for the opportunity to lead and serve them in parliament, nothing that the Constituency would be well represented in parliament to bring the needed development to the area.
“I will continue to thank my people of Wenchi for electing me to represent them in parliament and to reassure them that, I have not forgotten my promises, very soon Wenchi will see real changes they voted for. It is too early but I can assure them, I will work to justify their votes for me,” Hon Haruna said.
He explained that during the campaign leading to the general elections, he presented well-crafted message of hope and is therefore committed to ensuring that its fruition.
Hon Haruna pledged to lobby, advocate and facilitate the completion of abandoned projects started by the previous government.
Touching on the Parliamentary orientation for the first time new MPs, Hon. Haruna said the programme though was good in its purpose, he wish it has taken place immediately after they were sworn in office,
He said the orientation was an exposure to him and his colleagues as they were taking through series of lectures on the role and function of parliament as an institution and the work of parliamentarians.
He said through the orientation he was exposed to the understanding that the real work of parliamentarians are at the Committee level rather than at the plenary.
Nevertheless the Wenchi MP said the rules of the august House would help guard him in his duties in Parliament and at the Constituency, stressing that what has been heard while outside parliament is totally different from what he had come to understand.
He said he had learnt the rules and procedure of parliament and had also taken home the experiences shared by old members including Speaker and his Deputy who equipped him and his colleagues with the basic knowledge of parliamentary practices and procedures to facilitate him effectively participate in the legislative process.
“As a new MP, we were taking through the Standing Orders and the Constitution, how to link the Standing Order and the Constitution. So now we understand the difference and we are able to link the two,” Hon Haruna said.
Again, the Wenchi lawmaker said the orientation programme was good as it had helped sharpen his skills towards his role as representative of the people in parliament, stressing that his initial perception about parliamentary business outside has changed after listened to what MPs do in parliament.
Hon Haruna however urged parliament to take the security of the House serious as advised of by one of the resourced persons at orientation programme, adding that his personal observation so far indicated that parliament security system appeared porous
During the orientation, the new MPs were exposed to the Role and Functions of Parliament which covers issues such as the mandate of Parliament as stated in the 1992 Constitution and Standing Orders and the relationship between Parliament and the other two arms of the State.
They were also exposed to the administrative structure of Parliament, the role and functions of Speaker, Majority and Leaders of Government Business, Leader of the Opposition or Minority and the Whips.
The relationship between backbenchers and the front bench was also explained and clarified for the smooth functioning of Parliament.
At the opening ceremony the Speaker, Rt Hon .Alban Sumana Bagbin said it was necessary for members to put the nation first before their political parties when it comes to matters in the House.
“We are all aware that the tolerance of Ghanaians for unbridled and unashamed partisanship has reached a breaking point and the earlier we respond appropriately to that issue, the better for parliamentary democracy.What Ghanaians and all Africans are interested in is the democratic dividends and not partisanship,” he said.
He urged the members not to allow the uniqueness of the 8th Parliament to be lost on them, stating, “It is the expectation of Ghanaians that we do more than before. We need to build bridges and collaborate more on many national issues than before.”
The Majority Leader, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, took the members through the functions of a legislator.
He said when they entered Parliament, most of them had their own perception about what the duties, obligations, and mandate of parliamentarians were.
“The first is representation of our constituents, deliberation on matters that come to us, and transmission of relevant information to the public. We also have an oversight responsibility,” he stated.
For his part, the Minority Leader, Hon Haruna Iddrisu, reminded the new members that they were now leaders and as such must lead properly, stressing that, “We are now leaders of the country and we must lead properly.”
The COVID-19, he noted has “imposes a new obligation on all of us. There must be some public sector reforms and how we even conduct business in the chamber must respond to the COVID-19 situation.”