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21.08.2020 Politics

No Pay For Assembly Members, No District Assembly Elections — Group Of Assemblymembers

No Pay For Assembly Members, No District Assembly Elections — Group Of Assemblymembers
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A group calling itself Coalition of Progressive Assembly Members (COPAM) has backed former President John Dramani Mahama's promise to put all Assemblymembers on monthly salary.

The group said failure to accept the reality and have Assemblymembers salaried for the performance of their national duties will compel them to kick against any future election of district assembly and unit committee elections.

This follows opposing views by the Hon. Minister for Local Government, Hajia Alima Mahama that it is not possible to pay Assemblymembers salary as promised by the former President.

Mr Mahama in his promise observed that not only do Assembly members attend to the day-to-day needs of the people, but they also serve as community development agents. As such, reiterated his pledge to tailor capacity building programmes to improve the lives of assembly members and also pay them monthly allowances to motivate them.

But, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development has maintained, that the policy is impossible.

In a phone interview with Nathaniel Akyeampong Former/Assembly Member Elect, Odonkoyanmu/Obra Wogum Electoral Area, Effutu, he condemned the statement by the Hon. Minister, adding that the fact that the NPP promised in its 2012 manifesto and failed does not render it impossible in future.

According to the group, the constitution of the republic enjoins the payment of monthly allowances to Assembly members, just as it is done for Presiding Members pursuant to Article 250(2), and section 11(2) of the local governance Act 936 of 2016.

“We fittingly conclude by calling for the future cancellation of the district Assembly and unit committee elections in our electoral process every four years, if the state perceive holders of that office to have nothing substantial to offer to the governance of their districts and corporate Ghana. If indeed they are truly important, and their presence compliments the governance architecture of the country through the organization of their elections with the limited resources of the country, then their poor conditions of service must be expeditiously addressed by policy makers at the top echelon relative to the management of the nation.”

In a statement signed by Nathaniel Akyeampong Former/Assembly Member Elect, Odonkoyanmu/Obra Wogum Electoral Area, Effutu, endorsed the policy by the former President John Dramani Mahama.

“To the former President, Mr John Dramani Mahama who made the promise and it has generated political debate - we proudly endorse and identify ourselves with the promise, and wish to assure him of our untiring defence for it against any political attack, chiefly when it was under his able stewardship as Vice President that the distribution of motorbikes to Assembly members to facilitate their operational functions was initiated; just as we will endorse and defend all Presidential candidates who will prioritise the welfare of Assembly members in their campaign message.”

The statement admonished assembly members across the country to support the call “since it addresses their topmost perennial concern since the inception of the fourth Republic, but has still not been addressed by successive governments.”

It further said, “That this is the opportune time for civil society organisation's such as the Institute for Democratic Governance(IDEG), Centre for Democratic Development(CDD), the legally sanctioned association for all Assembly members, the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana(NALAG) and the entire Ghanaian populace to support a pledge to remunerate our local legislators and offer their expert views on same.”

Read full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE COALITION OF PROGRESSIVE ASSEMBLY MEMBERS(COPAM) ON THE PROMISE BY FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA TO PAY MONTHLY ALLOWANCES TO ASSEMBLY MEMBERS.

Thursday, 20th August 2020.

The Coalition of Progressive Assembly Members(COPAM), with key interest in advocating on issues concerning the welfare of Assembly members in the Central region and beyond, have taken note of the controversies that has surrounded the promise by the former President and elections 2020 Flagbearer of the NDC, H.E. John Dramani Mahama to pay monthly allowances to Assembly members if he is elected as President, God willing in the impending general elections. In this regard, we will like with this statement, share our nationalistic driven view on the contention.

We respectfully wish to state;

(1) That the supreme law of the country, the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana enjoins the payment of monthly allowances to Assembly members, just as it is done for Presiding members pursuant to article 250(2), and section 11(2) of the local governance Act 936 of 2016. This fundamentally indicate how lawful, legitimate and deserving the promise is, since it has a legal basis.

Further, at page 494 of the Prof. Emeritus Albert Fiadjoe constitutional review commission(CRC) report of 2011, one of the popular matter presented by the citizenry to the commission on local government issues, was the emoluments and conditions of service of Assembly members, which it made a useful recommendation for its execution through the proposed independent emoluments commission by the CRC.

(2) That any opposing statement made about the promise, or is about to be made subsequently by an appointee of the current administration, particularly the local government Minister because the former President had made same promise in 2012 but couldn't deliver; would impugn lack of appreciation of government's functionaries on its own promises under local government, and what has been achieved so far. A fact check at page 142 of the 2016 manifesto of government then in opposition would reveal that, the latter equally made same promise before assuming office but has not been delivered as well. Sincerely speaking, no government can convincingly apportion blame to the other on the non-payment of monthly allowances to Assembly members, since all are complicit.

(3) That all well meaning Assembly members across the almost two hundred and sixty Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies(MMDA's) of the country must endeavour to associate themselves with this vow, since it addresses their topmost perennial concern since the inception of the fourth Republic, but has still not been addressed by successive governments. We entreat those who wish to object to the former President's promise, obviously for political expediency purposes, to be measured with their public commentary, and take a cue from how Members of Parliament from both sides of the august house speaks on issues about their conditions of service. Unity, devoid of partisanship in this context, is a proven prerequisite for achieving such an objective.

4) That this is the opportune time for civil society organisation's such as the Institute for Democratic Governance(IDEG), Centre for Democratic Development(CDD), the legally sanctioned association for all Assembly members, the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana(NALAG) and the entire Ghanaian populace to support a pledge to renumerate our local legislators and offer their expert views on same.

We fittingly conclude by calling for the future cancellation of the district Assembly and unit committee elections in our electoral process every four years, if the state perceive holders of that office to have nothing substantial to offer to the governance of their districts and corporate Ghana. If indeed they are truly important, and their presence compliments the governance architecture of the country through the organisation of their elections with the limited resources of the country, then their poor conditions of service must be expeditiously addressed by policy makers at the top echelon relative to the management of the nation.

To the former President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama who made the promise and it has generated political debate - we proudly endorse and identify ourselves with the promise, and wish to assure him of our untiring defence for it against any political attack, chiefly when it was under his able stewardship as Vice President that the distribution of motorbikes to Assembly members to facilitate their operational functions was initiated; just as we will endorse and defend all Presidential candidates who will prioritise the welfare of Assembly members in their campaign message.

We thank you for your time, and we hope to engage in the not too distant future.

God bless Ghana!

Signed,

Convener

Nathaniel Akyeampong

Former/Assembly Member Elect,

Odonkoyanmu/Obra Wogum Electoral Area, Effutu.

Co-convener

Abdul-Wahab Africa Zion

Research Officer

Nhyira Dadzie

P.R.O

Kow Kakra Jagadu

Simon Agbovi
Simon Agbovi

JournalistPage: SimonAgbovi

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