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The security detail in the Parliament of Ghana, last week Thursday, went to sleep as their counterparts from the American Embassy took over the precincts of the legislature.
This was when the U.S Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Porter Jackson, appeared before the Committee on Foreign Affairs to respond to some queries bordering on the recent deportation of some Ghanaians from America.
The said meeting was called to order by the Clerk to the Committee around 12:10pm, with an instruction to one of the staff of Parliament assigned to the Committee called Elorm, not to allow any journalist to enter. The meeting took place on the 6th floor of the West Wing of the State Tower Block, popularly known as Job 600.
Already, nine journalists had been allowed entry to sit and cover the said the meeting, with Elorm positioned behind the sliding door to carry out the instructions given her. In front of the sliding door was the security detail of the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, with same instruction not to allow any more entry immediately after the commencement of the meeting.
Wearing an ash jacket over a white sleeved shirt, and displaying some aspects of his communication tools, the American security man did not entertain any excuses from the people, especially, from Members of Parliament (MPs) who came in late.
Two of the MPs who came in late were only granted entry upon the instructions of the Clerk to the Committee. But, more surprisingly, was the refusal of entry to the 2nd Deputy Minority Whip and MP for Ada, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah. Not even a plea from the honourable member, after identifying herself, would convince the American security man to grant her entry.
It took the intervention of a journalist who witnessed the incident to press upon the security man to consult whoever assigned him, before Mrs. Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah was granted entry.
The said journalist, who is a member of the Parliamentary Press Corps, when contacted, told this reporter that he even tried calling the District Police Commander of Parliament House to intervene.
“I tried calling the two contact numbers of the Police Commander, but his phones were either switched off or out of coverage area,” he noted.
Immediately after the meeting, Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah reported her ordeal to the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Patrick Boamah, who confronted Elorm over her action.
Elorm, in her response, told Mr. Boamah that she thought Mrs. Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah was a journalist, hence, her order to the American security man to refuse her entry to the meeting.
She, however, apologised over her rude behaviour towards the 2nd Deputy Minority Whip.
Source: The Chronicle