Sarah Adwoa Safo, Minister Designate for Gender
Sarah Adwoa Safo, Minister Designate for Gender

Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, says the Dome-Kwabenya MP, Sarah Adwoa Safo, was a target of a political witch-hunt before her referral to the Privileges Committee over her long absence from the House.

He claimed that some individuals are making attempts to ensure her removal from office to score their political goals.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, on Tuesday, April 5 referred three members of the House to the Privileges Committee for their continuous absence in Parliament.

According to the Speaker, the three legislators have breached the 15-day absence rule, hence his decision to refer them to the Privileges Committee for the necessary actions to be taken.

But in an interview on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Saturday, Mr Bentil says there is an element of witch-hunting in the recent developments which have brought about several debates and disagreements, even among the MPs.

He, however, stated the issue of MPs absenting themselves from duty is becoming endemic and must urgently be addressed.

“Adwoa Safo was the target of a political witch hunt. She was the target of certain people to achieve certain very narrow political goals. But we need to go back a bit; before the last election, I was one of the lawyers working with Odekro, and we had gone to court on this same issue.

“The issue was that there were too many parliamentarians who take monthly salaries, take allowances, and they don’t go to work.

“Out of the 275 parliamentarians that we have, it is our reckoning that less than half of them go to work regularly – less than 50% go to work regularly, and less than 50% contribute to the parliamentary discourse, debates, lawmaking, et cetera.

“We think that is a high cost on this country; we need to do something about it. Some of us believe that we have too many parliamentarians; we are not getting values from them,” he said.

Kofi Bentil called on stakeholders “to find a way in this republic to make sure that we get as much as we can out of our parliamentarians.”

“So, way back then, some of us took the step [but] that case was never called until the election was over. My issue is this; we need to find a way to make our Parliament effective.”