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10.09.2004 Feature Article

Letter from The President: Honourable Enjoyments

Letter from The President: Honourable Enjoyments
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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, I recently read with dismay a new report attributed to an 'against' MP, who claims that being a lawmaker in Sikaman is like being sentenced to four years in the shackles of poverty. According to the MP, Hon. Akova, a lot of our lawmakers enter the legislative assembly rich and leave poor. I don't know whether Mr. Akova is using his own example or he is just propounding a theory he cannot prove. If he is using his own example, I am sorry to say that Mr. Akova has wasted his time in parliament. If he's poorer now than he was when he first entered parliament, I think Mr. Akova is a failed politician, who is so inept that he can't even use his position to enrich himself. Politicians the world over enrich themselves whiles in office and I have little choice than to feel sorry for Mr. Akova for trying to be the first clean politician in the history of the world. On the other hand, however, if Mr. Akova is just trying to throw dust into our eyes by propounding a false theory about how politics impoverishes people, I guess he should be hanged by the balls for deceiving the whole nation. Unfortunately, I am tempted to think that Mr. Akova is merely trying to 'chop' alone with his fellow honourables, deliberately forgetting that “dibi ma mendi bi” (chop and let's chop) is the name of the political game in Sikaman. Forget what Mr. Akova and his fellow MPs say. I can confirm to you without any fear of contradiction that being an MP is one of the best things that could ever happen to any Sikaman citizen. It's tough getting there. But once you get in there, the benefits should flow “waa waaa waaa”, just like that – unless, of course, you are so dimwittedly patriotic and shamelessly selfless to primarily concern yourself with the affairs of the state. Being an MP opens doors for you and opportunities will follow you as flies ran after latrine. Apologies for the gross analogy, but how else am I supposed to explain why so many people are clamouring to enter parliament. Even Ministers of State who I expected to just enjoy lazing about with their purpose-built portfolios are trading insults, scheming like Lucifer himself and, in some cases, stooping so low like stoodges before truck pushers and 'kayayei', just to get themselves elected to parliament. Being an MP in the Sikaman parliament is good for so many reasons. You get to be called 'honourable'. Whether you are a visa contractor, an 'awengaa' or a short-tempered been-to who beats police officers at the airport, the title is yours for the taken as a right. Being in parliament brightens your image. You can use your title to do whatever you like and, until the witches and wizards in your home decide to blow your cover, you can engage in all sorts of sinister dealings without anyone suspecting you of anything. Who will suspect an 'honourable' of sponsoring landguards and extorting huge sums of money from desperate Sikaman citizen with the pretext of securing visas for them to travel abroad? For those of you who don't like repaying your debts, the best place to practice your 'art' of dodging debts is parliament. As an MP who earns a monthly salary of just about three million cedis, you can take loans (as much as 20,000 dollars) and decide just when the repaying period is ending that whoever gave you the loan, probably the government, should have known that you couldn't pay back. No one will complain and no one will dare come near you with a repossession order. Don't forget that as an MP, you eat and drink free, your utility bills are paid and you don't pay rent. Even the car you drive, which you bought with borrowed money you've refused to repay, will be fuelled freely by the suffering people of Sikaman. And, you get all this for doing nothing most of the time. You can choose to always go to the chamber, sit down like an overfed elephant and refuse to participate in debates or contribute meaningfully to the making of laws. You can even decide not to enter the chamber for as long as you like and you will get whatever is due you. The worst the poor people of Sikaman can do is to use whatever little money they have to call radio stations and complain. You will only care about their complaints if you are not busy lazing about. As an MP in Sikaman, you also get to dine with me occasionally. If you are very lucky (and well-behaved) I will tap you on the back for being a willing rubber stamp, blindly supporting every decision of the executive – even endorsing my most dim-witted nominees for sensitive positions. Being a rubber stamp comes with its rewards. I have heard so many MPs complaining about being pursued by the constituents, even into the parliamentary chamber for little favours. Don't mind them when they complain. They enjoy the company of their constituents. They love to see people groveling at their feet for favours and they enjoy it. Being an MP will certainly not make you poorer. Forget what Akova says and contest either as an independent or a party candidate. The bid to enter parliament can be very expensive. But if you are wise, you can break even in your first year in the chamber. That's for sure. But if you fail to win the contest… go ask Goozie. Excellently yours, J. A. Fukuor [email protected]

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2004

The author has 204 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: JAFukuor

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