The Tamale Central Member of Parliament (MP), Murtala Mohammed, has denied describing the Communications Minister, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, as a practitioner of LGBTQ.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Wednesday, Mr Murtala Mohammed said he “never used the word practitioner”, adding that he did not mention the Communication Minister’s name.
Clarifying the statement he made before the brawl, he said: “The only statement I made which I think the Speaker is asking me to withdraw was that I said every single member of the parliament should be allowed to debate on the bill and that no one should be allowed to sit on the fence.
“And that you are either for the bill or against the bill, those who refuse to support the bill, then everybody will know their position.”
According to him, with the above statement made, he believes Ursula had a position he was not aware of hence the face-off.
“… I never used the word practitioner. In fact, I don’t know the last time I used the word practitioner…perhaps, it is a case of who the cap fits. I never mentioned Ursula’s name, I never said Ursula you are a practitioner,” he insisted.
His comments come in the wake of a brief interruption as the microphones in parliament picked up a whisper while the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor was on the floor arguing over the legislation of the Anti-LGBTQ bill.
The Second Deputy Speaker who was in the chair, called out Tamale Central MP, Murtala Mohammed asking him to withdraw an unparliamentary comment he was deemed to have passed.
On the other hand, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful was incensed by the development and accused the legislator of calling her a practitioner of LGBTQ.
“I sat here and repeatedly heard Hon Murtala refer to me as a practitioner of LGBT to the hearing of everyone in this house… and in response to that if I say he is mad, it is only a mad man who will refer to his colleague in this house as a practitioner of LGBTQ when you haven’t seen me having sexual intercourse with your wife or your daughter or your mother,” she flared up.
She burst out and called out all other legislators who she believes heard the comment but turned deaf ears to it.
“And you all [parliamentarians] heard it and pretend that suddenly you’ve lost your sense of hearing,” she added.
Both individuals withdrew their comments at the request of the Second Deputy Speaker and proceedings continued.
Mr Mohammed, in his defence, explained that comments made in Parliament while the microphone is off are not deemed as statements made in Parliament, adding that the Hansard captures statements only made with the microphone.
The Tamale Central MP said that even the Minster was also gesturing “you are mad” in the House, while the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor was debating, however, it was taken on because it was not said in the microphone.
Although Mr Mohammed has withdrawn the comments made in the House, he does not believe the withdrawal means an admission of guilt.
“I just withdrew to allow sanity to prevail and that is why I didn’t withdraw a specific statement. It is not an admission of guilt,” he said.