Parliament on Thursday paid tribute to Henry Ford Kamel, the Volta Regional Minister, who passed away last Christmas at the Jasikan Hospital in the Volta Region.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) of both the Majority and Minority, praised the fallen Minister, who was also Member of Parliament for the Buem Constituency, for his astuteness, gentleness, sociability, describing him as a “hard worker and a great unifier, who sought development and peaceful coexistence of all the communities in the region.
The MPs, who resumed sittings after the Christmas break, also used the occasion to call for a regime that would make it mandatory for legislators to undergo regular health screening in view of the stressful nature of their work.
Professor Mike Ocquaye, Second Deputy Speaker, applauded the late Kamel’s commitment to the business of the House despite having to joggle between the stressful role of a Minister and an MP.
He bemoaned the fact that five members had lost their lives last year, urging the State to put in place a mandatory regime for members do undergo quarterly medical checks, owing to the sedentary nature of the parliamentary work that exacted heavy toll on the health of MPs.
Prof. Ocquaye said combining the work Parliament with Ministerial position was too stressful, and called on government to consider separating executive functions from legislative work as recommended in the Constitutional Review Committee.
Deputy Majority Leader, Rashid Pelpuo, also described the late MP as one who used his peaceful personality to bring peace to conflict prone areas in his region.
Pelpuo also stressed the need for a regime for members to undergo compulsory periodical medical checks to negate the toll that their work takes on their health.
Members prayed for God’s fortitude for the bereaved family of the late Kamel and sought divine guidance and direction for his constituents, the Volta Region and Parliament.
The late Kamel, who was born on December 21, 1961, came from Guaman in the Jasikan District of the Volta Region, and was an economist and banker by profession.
He had been a MP since January 2005, and he was re-elected to represent the people of Buem, in the December 7, 2012 parliamentary election.
The late Kamel was also, former Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources during the Mills administration.
The Kamel was survived by a wife and three children.