The APC deputy majority leader in parliament, Hon Sheku Badara Bashiru Dumbuya, told Awoko yesterday that some MPs had started receiving diplomatic passports.
He said the MPs would receive the diplomatic passports whilst their wives would get service passports and their children ordinary ones. He explained that the carrying of diplomatic passports by MPs was necessary to match up their status, pointing out that MPs used to carry diplomatic passports.
“I really still cannot comprehend why that facility was taken away from us but it has been so even after Independence for a very long time, but the SLPP put a stop to it,” he said.
He qualified it that being the accredited representatives of the people and having the status as an MP they deserved to carry diplomatic passports.
The 12 paramount chiefs also in parliament are entitled to carry diplomatic passports. Asked about the fear of misuse of the passport by MPs he commented that, “I do not foresee that happening as honourable members of parliament.
We have to be honourable in whatever we do, not only in name but what we do, so if other people have diplomatic passports and decide to misuse it or attempt to do it, I cannot imagine any MP misusing it because they are too honourable to descend that low.”
Hon Sheku Musa Samai of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) reacted:
“It is good and before this time MPs carry it and if ministers are carrying diplomatic passports why not us who approve them.”
Hon Foday Rado Yokie of the minority expressed delight for the added dignity of MPs in enhancing their status but called for improved remuneration to match up with that status.