Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan was yesterday 5th February, 2019 sworn in as the Member of Parliament (elect) for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency after she polled majority votes in by-election which took place last week.
The election was marred by pockets of violent attacks which resulted in blood shed and many injuries. There was also a physical attack on the member of parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George by some national security operatives during the violent attacks.
A lot of blame has been put on the doorsteps of the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and the Inspector General of Police for siting allof and watching as “their boys” took the laws into their own hands during the by-election.
And then, her swearing-in also did not come without controversy as the Minority in Parliament boycotted the democratic process by wielding placards reading “bloody widow” and walking out of the chamber of parliament just as she was about to be sworn in.
They explained that they were boycotting the swearing-in ceremony in solidarity with Hon. Sam George who is yet to receive justice for the physical assault he received from some National Security operatives.
In a letter, former First Lady and founder of the 31st December Women’s Movement, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings has condemned the act by the minority and has demanded that they apologize to Ghanaians and to Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan in person.
Read her press statement below;
Ghanaians Deserve A Better Minority in Parliament
I have watched with shock and consternation, the callous and maliciously orchestrated attempt by Members of the Minority in Parliament to belittle, lampoon and ridicule the newly elected Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Ms. Lydia Seyram Alhassan.
These legislators, who are expected to know better, referred to Ms Alhassan as a ‘Bloody Widow’ and then walked out of the Parliamentary Chamber during her swearing-in.
Walkouts are an accepted practice in Parliamentary democracies, but staging a walk out because of the election of an innocent, grieving woman to Parliament is a shameful misuse of accepted parliamentary norms.
It is sad that this shameful display was carried out in no other place than the Parliament of Ghana, twenty-four years after Ghana made global commitments towards respecting women and promoting the involvement of women in politics.
The events of Tuesday, 5th Febuary, 2019, also casts doubt on the commitment of the Minority to the progress of women and towards ensuring the protection of women from domestic violence, Intimidation, discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace; Inequality in the labour market; human trafficking; Child abuse and many other acts of injustice.
If women who engage in politics are lampooned in the way and manner witnessed in Parliament on Tuesday, then no number of safe seats would be sufficient in improving the dwindling fortunes of female politicians.
As the President of an NGO for women, which has worked with women and young persons for over two decades, I see the events of Tuesday as a wicked attempt to undo the progress we have made so far in increasing women’s participation in politics and ultimately in national development .
I call on the leadership of the NDC to do what is honourable by apologising to Ghanaians generally and specifically, to the Hon. Seyram Lydia Alhassan and the good people of Ayawaso West Wuogon.
For the legislative arm of government (Parliament House ) to be taken seriously by Ghanaians, foremost, it should exhibit that it takes itself serious.
Forces of Women Empowerment, Arise Now !!!
God Bless Women in Ghana and across the world.
God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.
Signed : Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings