Information Minister Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah says his ‘Papa no’ comment in Parliament on Friday was not meant to offend anybody.
According to him, the comment was made in jest.
If you say something in jest, you do not mean it seriously.
The phrase ‘papa no’ has become popular on social media after actress Tracey Boakye used it repeatedly to describe a married man she claims she and musician Mzbel are in the same relationship with.
It found its way onto the Floor of Parliament as the House approved the Agyapa Royalties Limited agreement.
“Mr Speaker, I want to encourage my colleagues on the other side. I want to encourage my good friend who just spoke (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 Member of Parliament (MP) told the House.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu demanded he withdraws the comment else they won’t recognise him as a Minister and referred to him as ‘Maame no’. He does not understand why the minister will introduce popular phrases being used on social media in the 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,” Mr Iddrisu 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 you. We too, we will call you ‘Maame no,” Mr Iddrisu added.
Eventually, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, ruled that sleeping dogs should be allowed to lie.
“The honourable Minority Leader’s anger, I pretended to overlook it because I think it’s in 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 debate on the deal continued after that. Eventually, the Minority MPs walked out of the house in protest of the deal. But the majority went ahead to approve it.
After the approval was given, Mr Oppong-Nkrumah 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,” he said.