Life As Independent MP: Shaaba's Story
6/20/2011 8:26:46 PM -
The Daily Graphic held discussions with the Independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkawkaw, Mr Seth Adjei-Baah ( alias Shaaba) during which he shed light on his work and political career in the constituency and Parliament.
DG represents “ Daily Graphic while AB stands for Adjei-Baah. Below are excerpts of the interview.
DG- How is it like as an Independent Member of Parliament (MP) representing and articulating the concerns and aspirations of the people of Nkawkaw in Parliament?
AB- Hmm, my brother, it has been a balancing act. I have to deal with the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, the constituency executive of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the rank and file members, the constituency executive of the NDC and members of the party, the assembly members, floating voters and the Minority and Majority members in Parliament.
DG-How well do you relate to the MCE of the area?
AB- My relations with the MCE has been cordial and excellent. We respect and understand each other and at times agree to disagree. It has dawned on all of us that the development of the Nkawkaw Constituency is a collective responsibility and for which we share ideas which have the potential to move the area forward and improve the quality of life of the people.
On many occasions, we have attended ceremonies together since we all represent people at different levels of the country’s political spectrum. While the MCE is the political representative of the President in the municipality , I am also the elected representative of the people in Parliament.
DG- Do party members, especially from the NPP feel uncomfortable with your association at times with the MCE?
AB- Oh yes! At times, people complain of my association with the MCE and I have on countless occasionalallayed their fears by informing them I am still bound by my political convictions and that we need to work together to fast-track the pace of development of the area.
DG- On the other hand, do the executive of the NDC experience any apprehension of the MCE’s interaction with you?
AB- Definitely People from the different political persuasions in the constituency have always put a spin on every move of mine and for which my association with the MCE has generated ill feeling among some members of the NDC .
Nevertheless, we do not allow our political inclinations to cloud our sense of judgement, especially with regard to the development of the Nkawkaw Constituency.
The reality is that the MCE and myself have to work together and our co-operation has hinged on mutual respect, tolerance and accommodation.
DG-How often do you communicate with assembly members in the municipality?
AB- It has dawned on me that the successful implementation of every project I initiate in the constituency is contingent to a greater extent on the availability of assembly members who could be found in every electoral area in the municipal.
I always find time to visit a few electoral areas to meet with assembly members to discuss issues of mutual concern to us such as the absence of potable water in their communities, poor educational infrastructure and poor roads linking their areas to the urban centres and the rest of the country.
Assembly members feed me with the numerous challenges militating against the development of their areas which informs me about what should be done to alleviate their plight.
I am so thankful to them since their feedback enables me to pursue at the various ministries, projects which if implemented back in the constituency will go a long way to alleviate the suffering of the people.
DG-How often do you attend meetings of the Nkawkaw Municipal Assembly?
AB-I attend assembly meetings based on invitations by the municipal assembly.
DG -Have there been any occasions where the assembly did not invite you to their meetings?
AB- I do not remember one. As far as I am concerned, the municipal has always extended invitations to me to attend its meetings and I commend the authorities for the gesture.
DG-Are you inclined to the NPP or the NDC?
AB- I am inclined to the NPP and in Parliament, I have always associated myself with the minority, although I started my political career in 1992 when I contested on the ticket of the National Independence Party (NIP) as its parliamentary candidate for Nkawkaw.
DG- Tell us a little bit about your political career.
AB -In 1996, I decided to revert to my mother party but there was no desire at that time for me to contest the election. However, after the NPP had won the 2000 election, I expressed the desire in 2001 to contest the primary but was met with cold reception from the executive members of the NPP who felt I should not contest the sitting MP.
The party executive members then went ahead to revoke my appointment in the assembly as an appointee for reasons best known to them. I then went ahead to contest the poll as an independent parliamentary candidate in 2004 but lost to the NPP candidate due to inexplicable reasons.
DG- What accounted for your victory in the 2008 parliamentary poll.
AB- In the first place ,I learned from my mistakes in the 2004 poll and for that matter instituted measures to forestall its recurrence in the 2008 election. Before going solo, the NPP had once again prevented me from contesting the primary after I had made frantic efforts to comply with all the directives of the party.
DG- Will you contest the 2012 poll? If so, on what political platform.?
AB- Although I have decided to contest the primary to enable me contest on the ticket of the NPP in the 2012 parliamentary election, several obstacles have been placed before me by some functionaries of the party.
I have resolved that if the party authorities decide to prevent me from contesting the primary as they did in 2004 and 2008, I will have no option but to contest the seat as an independent candidate, which I will win hands down.