Gas cylinder in parliamentary chamber scares legislators

Accra, The presence of a gas cylinder in the Chamber of Parliament on Friday caused fear and panic in House prompting the legislators on the security risks they are exposed to.

Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who was chairing proceedings directed the marshal to take out the cylinder that Mr George Mireku Duker, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tarkwa Nsuaem had brought into the Chamber.

Mr Duker was exhibiting the cylinder to support his contribution to the debate on the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy.

As he made the contribution, the Tarkwa-Nsuaem MP raised the cylinder to support his point that the cylinder recirculation model of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced in the 2018 Budget would bring integrity to gas cylinders.

As he spoke, stating the recirculation exercise would also prevent gas explosions, Deputy Minority Leader James Klutse Avedzi, on a point of order, brought the House’s attention that the presence of the cylinder posed danger to the MPs.

Mr Speaker, the cylinder can explode or the gas can be used to cause harm to honourable members, the Deputy Minority Leader said.

Majority Leader and MP for Suame, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, in response, described the concerns by the Deputy Minority Leader as speculative, as there was no certainty about the cylinder containing gas.

Mr Osei-Owusu noted that the House was at a very high risk if there was gas in the cylinder; and that even if it were empty, it could be used as an offensive weapon.

He queried why the marshals in Parliament allowed the MP to carry the object into the Chamber and ordered for it to be taken out.

The Security ought not to have allowed it inside, Mr Osei Owusu querried, as his order to remove the cylinder was carried out.

Investigations by the GNA revealed that the cylinder might have escaped the security if it were brought into the Chamber through the tunnel linking the Job 600 Building.

Dr Kwabena Donkor, MP for Pru East, told journalists that the MP should have sought clearance from the Speaker and Leadership to admit the cylinder before presenting it to the House.

Source: Ghana News Agency