Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Information Minister, says it does not “lie within the mouth of one person” to recognise him as the Information Minister.
According to him, after the use of the ‘Papa No’ tag in the course of a debate in Parliament, he asked the Speaker to expunge the record and the Speaker directed same accordingly.
“I asked Mr Speaker leave to make a comment and he gave me that leave, and the comment was to effect that an expression I had used in jest at the end of my submissions be expunged from the record and Mr Speaker so directed,” he told Paul Adom-Otchere on Good Evening Ghana.
Oppong-Nkrumah added that the use of ‘Papa No’ in reference to John Abu Jinapor tickled the Minority Leader wrongly.
“You know me I’m a gentleman, I don’t like to make non-issues issues. I want the substantive issue to be focused on…,” he explained of the rationale behind his request to expunge the ‘Papo No’ comment from the Hansard.
The Minister for Information, had referred to his colleague from the Minority side, John Abu Jinapor, as ‘Papa no’ in Parliament during a debate on the floor of Parliament to approve the Agyapa Royalties Limited agreement.
Oppong-Nkrumah in his presentation said, “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. It was widely viewed as an innuendo to John Mahama, the NDC Parliamentary candidate.
But unhappy Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader, 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’.
“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.
But Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said to Adom-Otchere that it doesn’t “lie within the mouth of one person to recognise or not to recognise. That I’m sure is a different matter altogether. But I think he was very unhappy about it and in the end, I now notice that the conversation on the substantive issue is coming back and I look forward to having a deeper debate [about the] Agyapa Royalties structure and how Ghana will benefit from it.”
When asked whether or not he apologized to the Minority Leader after Sitting ended, the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP responded that he had a private conversation with the Minority Leader afterwards.