19.08.2020 Feature Article

Kicking Against Monthly Allowance To Assembly Members Is Backwardness, Wickedness And Destructive

Kicking Against Monthly Allowance To Assembly Members Is Backwardness, Wickedness And Destructive
LISTEN AUG 19, 2020

One day a mouse and his son went on a destruction spree in someone's pepper farm, chewing every pepper they saw. The son complained to his father, "Dad, why are we chewing these pepper? It's hot, besides, it's not palatable."

His dad responded, " Shut up! I know it's unpalatable and hot, but 'ye bo abro' (we're only being wicked and destructive.")

The inconsiderate mouse said that "ye bo abro." Kikikikikiki, I want someone to tell the mouse that "abronye."

On July 27, 2020, the flag bearer of the NDC, former President John Dramani Mahama while outdooring his running mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman, promised to pay Assembly Members monthly allowance when elected as president again, but the Local Government Minister, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama is reported to have downplayed the promise of the former president.

According to a Ghanaweb story, a group of Assembly Members from the Bono Region were appalled by the dismissive stance of the Local Government Minister in relation to President Mahama's proposal.

In a Daily Guide Newspaper story of August 12, 2020, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu was also reported to have said that the promise to pay monthly salary to Assembly Members has constitutional implications and therefore not feasible, quoting article 250 sub-section 2 of the 1992 constitution to support his argument.

But addressing the king of Dagbon, Yaa Naa Abukari Mahama II and his subjects at the Gbewaa palace in Yendi a few weeks ago, H.E. John Dramani Mahama insisted it was possible, and that he only needs the mandate of the people of Ghana to ensure that it happens.

On August 17, 2020, at Battor in the North Tongu Constituency, as part of his 5-day tour in the Volta Region, President Mahama re-stated his pledge to pay Assembly Members monthly so that they can effectively discharge their duties.

"I did the mathematics; assembly members are 5,500. If we give each of them GHC1,000 a month, that is GHC66 million a year. In 2019, within 9 months when the accounts of the presidency were audited, presidential travel alone was GHC69 million. Am I lying?" he asked.

"So, if the President alone can spend GHC69 million in nine months on travels, why can't we find the money to pay Assembly Members?" he continued.

Assembly Members are agents of development in our local governance system, and therefore, any attempt to stymie their welfare will amount to backwardness and wickedness. In this case, the destructive mice could be compared to the ravenous malcontent ruling government which seems to be possessed by the spirit of selfishness and self-aggrandizement to the detriment of the ordinary Ghanaian.

But there is hope, former President Mahama’s next bid is going to be a doozy of brilliant collaboration of experience and learned lessons. This time around, all “is” will be dotted and “ts” will be crossed.

You may loathe the former president, but you can't take away that aura around him; he is fascinatingly charming, impressively magical and powerfully iridescent. Everything around him scream confidence and hope. He is an honest person, and I have no doubt that a second chance for him will be fructified to the benefit of all, including Assembly Members.

Anthony Obeng Afrane

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