My ‘Papa No’ comment was just a joke; I didn’t mean to offend anybody with it – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah expresses remorse

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Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has reacted to comments he made on the floor of parliament on Friday which has sparked political controversy on social media.

On Friday, during a heated debate on the floor of Ghana’s parliament, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah used a term dubbed ‘Papa No’ when he was making a counter-argument against the minority caucus.

“Mr Speaker, I want to encourage my colleagues on the other side. I want to encourage my good friend who just spoke (John Jinapor). In my hometown, we will say, ‘Papa no.’ ‘Papa no.’ I want to encourage ‘Papa no’ to take some time and follow the structure of this conversation and support,” the Ofoase Ayirebi Member of Parliament (MP) told the House.

Subsequently, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddirsu expressed displeasure at the use of such words by an honourable member to refer to another honourable member. He demanded on the floor that Kojo Oppong Nkrumah withdraws and retract his ‘Papa No’ comment hat he used to address Hon. John Jinapor.

“You come to parliament to employ those words used on social media, we take strong objection to it. If you don’t withdraw, we won’t recognize you today as minister. We will not. Do what you will do,” Mr Iddrisu said.

“From today, we won’t recognize you as minister of this republic. And we will not accord you any respect as minister. Let’s throw it to the dogs. What do you take us for? So, ‘Papa no’ accepted. But from today, we will not.

“We will give you a name. We will give you a name. And we are serving notice, he was elected just like you. And his constituents respect him. Because you people use ‘Papa no’ on social media. We know what it means. We will match you. You have lost my respect as Minority leader from today. We will match you. We too, we will call you ‘Maame no,” Mr Iddrisu added.

The First Deputy Speaker Mr Joseph Osei Wusu who was presiding over the house decided to gloss over the comment by saying it wasn’t harmful in any way.

“The honourable Minority Leader’s anger, I pretended to overlook it because I think it’s in the spur of the moment. And knowing this house, tomorrow, we will get over it. But some insist on making an issue over it.

“I don’t think we will gain anything as a House by pretending this is new. And the threats don’t come to anything. So, the House will proceed,” he said.

The Minority then staged a walkout of the house.

This was followed by an apology from Kojo Oppong Nkrumah over his use of the ‘Papa No’ term which had earlier caused an uproar in the house.

“Mr Speaker, earlier, I was trying to catch your eye to request that the use of my expression which caused apprehension on the other side be expunged from the record. I didn’t mean it to offend anybody. It was in jest. And if anybody took offence to it, the records should reflect that it’s been expunged,” he said.

The ‘Papa No’ term has become the new trend over social media and many netizens are not giving it a breathing space. The twist to it all is how political controversies are been woven around this term with each side throwing to pull out all the skeletons in the cupboards of the other.

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