‘I went over the top; I’m sorry’ – Casely-Hayford to Parliament
Leading member of pressure group, Occupy Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford has apologized to Parliament for some comments he made against the house which has angered some in the 275-member legislative body.
“I indeed went over the top, I do apologize for that. I used some language which I supposed I should not have used. I unreservedly apologize because in matured conversation, when you say something that you offend somebody and you are prompted, the least you can do is to say I’m sorry, it wasn’t meant to be offensive, this is where I was going and if it came out the wrong way then I do apologize sincerely, I have no reservation doing that,” he added.
Casely-Hayford has been cited for contempt of Parliament for saying Ghana’s Parliamentarians make “stupid decisions” and would have turned the House into a tourist site if he has the power.
The Member of Parliament for the Kumbungu constituency, Ras Mubarak who called on the Speaker of the House to haul Casely-Hayford before the House over the claim insisted that the comments impugn the integrity of Parliament and must not be swept under the carpet.
But speaking on Eyewitness News on Thursday, a remorseful Casely-Hayford said his comments were not to attack Parliament but he was instead advocating for a decentralised lawmaking house.
“I was giving a talk on the best government practices for development in Africa. We were discussing the issue and I suggested that what we could do was to dissolve the single parliament arrangement that we have and instead have ten regional parliaments where each parliament will perfectly take care of their own areas. So this is what the conversion went. I’m saying so, I deed went over the top, I do apologise for that.
I used some language which I supposed I should not have used. But it was a very interesting engaging conversion and certain words came out that did not need to come out during the time. But it was not about this Parliament but it was about the processes that we go through in order to arrive at development in Africa.”
“I think that the article that came out was a little misconstrued in the way it was presented so it made it look like I was insulting parliament. There is no reason why I will call for a dissolution of Parliament and suggest that we have ten,” he explained.
Apology can’t save you now
But Ras Mubarak also speaking on the Eyewitness News said the apology may not save Casely-Hayford.
“Sydney Casely-Hayford knew what he was doing when he made the comments. I think Sydney’s intent was to impugn the integrity of Parliament and I’m sure he was excited with the applause. A person of the stature of Sydney’s shouldn’t be making such sweeping comments. It’s a very weak attempt by Sydney to water down the outrageous comments he made,” he added.