Over E-Passport Controversy In Well Of Parliament Deputy Speaker Ridicules SLPP Government
According to reliable sources from the Well of Parliament, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament- Honourable Segepoh Solomon Thomas withdrew his first ruling after severe pressure exerted by Members of Parliament, regarding the E-Passport contract. Members of Parliament of the main opposition APC Party did not agree with the first ruling made by the Deputy Speaker, that the House of Parliament should not cancel the agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the Net page DeLauro. Those against the motion were far greater than those in favour, stressing on the fact that it will be in the best interest of the country.
Segepoh revealed in an interview that the price of passport should be reduced from $100 to quite a reasonable amount, so that the average Sierra Leoneans could afford it. Responding to his assertion, the Leader of the main opposition –Honourable Cernoh Maju Bah authoritatively said the issue in question is not about APC or SLPP and that SLPP MPs were more annoyed than the APC MPs with that of the C4C and NGC. In addendum he continued by emphasizing on the points that parliament is not a party to the contract; such a practice is embarrassing. The contract is between the Government of Sierra Leone and a private company. Their role is ratify, adding that if the Government does not want the agreement again, the procedure and position should be brought by the government to parliament and pinpointed that it is not a private member document. In furtherance to his submission, Honourable Bah elucidated and I quote “It is a government document. It was a shock to MPs for a private member to annul a document at the well of parliament. You are neither Landlord nor Tenant, therefore one should not tender notice and equally so, one should not be served notice. There is a procedure of a Standing order 25(4) before a member comes with a motion, a notice should be given to the Clerk of parliament which should lasts for Seven (7) days. In fact, it was not adequately communicated to MPs. Why the rush? SO 46 give Members of Parliament the mandate to register our dissatisfaction on such issues. It is unfortunate that the mentality of the Deputy Speaker has not changed at all, devoid of his position. When I was at that position, everyone knows how I was navigating parliamentary issues of national relevance to my constituents and my country. The Speaker should be seen as a Referee”
In a rather annoying mood, Honourable Segepoh reacted that and I quote “As long as I preside I cannot be seen subjecting myself to issues of technicality on issues that affect the lives and well being of our people. That is the main reason why I am in full support” Information reaching this Press revealed that, Contrary to the submission made on behalf of the people of this country, quite a good number are debunking that such a statement made by Segepoh is not in their interest but rather in the interest of very few government officials in the midst of the terrific suffering they are going through. It was unfortunate when the Chief Whip of the main opposition party APC, Honourable Hassan A. Sesay was vindictively commanded by the Deputy Speaker to withdraw his motion. After a serious pressure, he unhappily withdrew his motion. However, Members of Parliament have been given One (1) week for counter motions to be made if any, for another sitting.
By: Allieu Badara Kamara
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