Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister for Information, has stated that his use of ‘Papa no’ in parliament on his colleague John Jinapor, was done to create amusement and was not meant to offend anybody.
During a debate on the floor of Parliament to approve the Agyapa Royalties Limited agreement, the MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, described his colleague MP representing the people of Yapei Kusawgu as ‘Papa no’, a popular phrase on social media which was used by actress Tracey Boakye to describe a ‘sugar daddy’ she and musician Mzbel are allegedly dating.
“Mr Speaker, I want to encourage my colleagues on the other side. I want to encourage my good friend who just spoke (referring to John Jinapor). In my hometown, we will say, ‘Papa no.’ ‘Papa no.’ I want to encourage ‘Papa no’ to take some time and follow the structure of this conversation and support,” the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP told the House.
Haruna Iddrisu, who did not take the comment lightly demanded an immediate withdrawal from the minister or else he would encourage the Minority to refer to him also as ‘Maame no’.
He said he did not understand why an ‘informal’ phrase(s) should be introduced into a serious debate in the ‘august’ house.
“You come to Parliament to employ those words used on social media, we take strong objection to it. If you don’t withdraw, we won’t recognize you today as minister. We will not. Do what you will do,” the Minority Leader said.
“From today, we won’t recognize you as minister of this republic. And we will not accord you any respect as minister. Let’s throw it to the dogs. What do you take us for? So, ‘Papa no’ accepted. But from today, we will not.
“We will give you a name. We will give you a name. And we are serving notice, he was elected just like you. And his constituents respect him. Because you people use ‘Papa no’ on social media. We know what it means. We will match you. You have lost my respect as Minority leader from today. We will match with you. We too, we will call you ‘Maame no,” the Tamale Central MP added.
Joe Osei Owusu, the first Deputy Speaker ruled that the honourable members should let sleeping dogs lie.
“The honourable Minority Leader’s anger, I pretended to overlook it because I think it’s on the spur of the moment. And knowing this house, tomorrow, we will get over it. But some insist on making an issue over it.
I don’t think we will gain anything as a House by pretending this is new. And the threats don’t come to anything. So, the house will proceed,” he said.
The Minority MPs walked out of the chamber in protest at the contract. But the Majority went ahead and approved it.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah later told the House; “Mr. Speaker, earlier, I was trying to catch your eye to request that the use of my expression which caused apprehension on the other side be expunged from the record. I didn’t mean it to offend anybody. It was in jest. And if anybody took offence to it, the records should reflect that it’s been expunged.”