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19.06.2004 Feature Article

It Is My Turn To Speak

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I decided to remain silent over every political issue in Ghana since getting involved in Ghanaian politics means having a big stomach, which of course I don't have to stomach all the nonsense that would be said. Ghanaian politics is full of insults but for how long can I sit back when people who knows next to nothing tries to poison the minds of Ghanaians.

Let me take on our Members of Parliament (MPS) first. In the Ghanaweb.com General News on Monday, 14 June 2004, some Parliamentarians lamented that for almost four years that into the administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), all they get by way of salaries is a meager allowance of 2.3 million cedis. They continued that some of them are often made to foot the bills of dowry prices of some const5ituents, made to pay for funeral donations, pay hospital bills of their people and other utility bills like water and electricity. Some constituents even demand monies from them to buy clothes.

I for one do not sympathise with the MPs for they deserve to be treated so. During their campaigns, instead of educating the people what the duties and responsibilities of an MP are, they promised them heaven. Education could have made the electorate make an informed decision and vote on issues rather than on vague promises made. Most of the MPs do like what happened in the days of Maame Dokono when she went about sharing clothes, “bentoa”, chamber pots and so on. Having done these for their votes, why shouldn't they harass you to continue to care for them in the way the MPs are complaining. During campaign period, MPs and aspiring MPs visit every corner of their constituencies, attend funerals of even people they don't know and make huge donations so that they would be known. They are present at every Church's harvest and every activity that brings a lot of people together. At these places, they make themselves known with their display of money so much so that they make the people believe that the care for them than they care for themselves. From where they had that money, nobody knows. Why shouldn't the people expect such things to continue from their MPs when they are voted to Parliament?

I would not be surprised if the MPs who are crying of low salary are from the NDC Party. This is because since the NDC is not in power, they cannot get access to the state coffers as they used to do when Dr. Jerry Boom was in control of affairs. Since when did they realize that 2.3 million cedis is a meager salary? Have they checked on the salaries of police officers, teachers and other civil servants who have served the nation for many years? For how long have they been MPs? And do they think that they are better that every Ghanaian worker no matter the years the person has worked? My simple advise for the MPs is that now that they have realized that their salaries is woefully too small, they should stop being MPs come December 2004. With what they describe as meager salary, why are they still campaigning to continue to be MPs? Let them be told that even if MPs are not given allowances at all, there will still be the rush for some people to be MPs. Why is it so? We have been told about their meager salary. What about the other allowances, incentives and privileges? Either they keep quiet for the government is not prepared to increase their salary or they cease to be MPs. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Patrick Adusei Sarpong
Patrick Adusei Sarpong, © 2004

The author has 1 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: PatrickAduseiSarpong

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