Parliament Mourns Victims of Cyclone Idai, New Zealand Mosque Attack

Members of Parliament on Monday paid their respect to victims of two devastating incidents that hit South-eastern Africa and New Zealand some days ago, leaving many people dead.
In Southeast Africa a storm dubbed Cyclone Idai ravaged Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe leaving hundreds of people dead with the death toll expected to rise as the flood waters subside.
In New Zealand, a terrorist attacked two mosques in Christchurch city, shot and killed 50 Muslims and injured scores of others when they had gathered to offer Friday congregational prayers.
In two separate statements that stood in the names of MPs for North Tongue and Offinso South, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Ben Abdallah Banda respectively, the House observed a minute silence to commiserate with those who lost their lives.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa who read a statement in solidarity with victims of the Cyclone noted that the United Nations has confirmed 500 dead while hundreds of thousands have been displaced in what has become an international humanitarian nightmare.
According to him, UNICEF is also estimating 260,000 children have been affected in Mozambique alone, losing homes, schools and access to hospitals.
Aid workers and volunteers, he stressed, are crying for more support as the reality of the situation unravels and urged members to contribute their mite to support victims of the flood.
He argued that this humanitarian crisis of monstrous proportions happening on the African continent demands solidarity of Parliament, the executive and the entire country.
He said, “Ghana ought to retain our enviable reputation as a country that stands up to be counted when tragedies of this nature unfold.”
“There are many occasions that we have offered moral and inspirational leadership to the world. But I plead this House goes beyond solidarity with mere words and contribute in cash and kind that we can put together and donate to our fellow Africans in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe who are in dire need of urgent assistance.”
Mr. Ben Abdallah whose statement was on the terrorist attack of the two Mosques in New Zealand, noted that the issue of radicalization, populism, xenophobia, extremism and terrorism is gaining currency and dangerously eating into the global fiber.
Terrorism, he stated, poses a threat to the international arena and collective efforts are required on national, regional and international levels to deal with it adding, “International hate speeches and crimes are also on the rise.”
Hon. Ben Abdallah noted that the use of social media to issue propaganda statements, coordinate training, raise funds, recruit persons geared towards criminal activities has assumed alarming trend.
He pointed out that the European Commission recently had cause to raise concerns over the unhealthy use of social media and urged social media companies in Europe to take down terrorist propaganda or risk future fines for non-compliance.
He praised New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, for exhibiting great leadership by her poise, resolve, sympathy, empathy, and most importantly her language of inclusiveness and diversity.
He said, “It is not a surprise the Prime Minister has been internationally acclaimed and praised as a very great leader.”
Parliament, he said, is united in grief with New Zealanders and expressed condolences to the bereaved families in New Zealand and across the world who lost their loved ones in the callous attack.

By Osumanu Al-Hassan /uthmanhass@gmail.com

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