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18.05.2005 Feature Article

Letter From The President: Whining MPs

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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents, our MPs have resumed work after a very long Easter break. For most Sikaman citizens, the Easter holidays ended after Easter Monday. For our MPs however, the holidays just ended a week ago. I know they will have some spurious reasons why they need to have a longer Easter break than the rest of Sikaman. So I won't even ask any questions.

A day after they resumed work, I read in the newspapers that MPs were complaining about “excessive demands” from their constituents. I think the MPs have no justification for complaining – unless they are using the complaints as a pretext for their own demands for increased salaries and car loans to be met. I think I have written about this subject before but since the MPs have no qualms about raising the issue of “excessive demands” from their constituents I suppose we all need a few reminders. So pardon the repetition of subject and allow me to “give it” to these MPs. First let me say that the demands being made on the MPs are not “excessive”. Their constituents are merely asking the MPs to fulfill their promises they made during the electioneering. I will like all the 230 MPs to go back and watch footage and/or listen to sound clips of their campaign rallies before Election 2004. After watching and hearing themselves, they will know why their constituents a making those “excessive” demands on them.

When they were campaigning for seats in the legislature, the MPs followed my example and made all sorts of promises – some public, many others private. On campaign platforms they promised to ensure education and health for all their constituents. Some proclaimed that if they were elected no one in their constituencies would go to bed on an empty stomach. Others promised to supply farmers with free fertilizers and fishermen with free nets or canoes. Others swore to the heavens to end unemployment in their constituencies. Others even promised to complete stalled road projects with their own funds and ensure that farmers' produce get to market centres on time.

In private some current honourables (then aspiring MPs) promised to secure visas for their constituents. Others promised to help their constituents secure jobs and educational opportunities abroad. I believe that some MPs might have even promised to help desperate young women get married. Others might have promised to help certain families bury dead relatives.

In essence the aspiring MPs told their people that if they were elected all their (the constituents) problems will end. Five months after the elections, the constituents' problems have not been resolved. If anything all, the problems are getting worse. So they go to their MPs to remind them of the promises they made only for the MPs turn around and complain to the nation about excessive demands.

I will urge all Sikaman citizens to ignore the complaints of the MPs. If you are one of those making demands on MPs, however, I have some bad news for you. These MPs cannot do anything for you. They deceived you into voting for them. They can't secure visas for you – unless, they are ready to stake their reputations and political careers. The MPs, even the richest amongst them, cannot help you (or your child) go to Oxford University. They cannot complete that stalled road project in your village, neither can they give you money to bury your dead mother-in-law. So forget about all the promises they made to you. They were all a bunch of lies. So stop running after your MPs, demanding that they fulfill their side of the bargain. They will only make you feel bad by going to complain to journalists about how you are harassing them with “excessive demands”.

I know that by complaining about the so-called excessive demands, they MPs are consciously trying to use your demands on them to condition our minds so that when they make their own demands we will be more willing to give them what they ask for. Don't be surprised if the MPs make their own demands for land cruisers to enable them visit their constituents. I am waiting anxiously to hear an MP open his mouth to ask for car loans. I will simply ask them why they need cars to visit their constituencies, only for their constituents to make excessive demands on them – demands they hate.

For now, all I want you, Sikaman citizens, to do is for you to learn a few lessons. First, know ye that politicians are deceitful. They will tell you all sorts of lies (and make all sorts) of promises just to win your votes. When a politician tells you to look up, look down. If he tells you to turn right, turn left. If he asks you to squat, stand up. Don't put your trust in a politician and don't believe everything they say.

Secondly, I want you to know that MPs are not responsible for building roads, hospitals, KVIPs and schools. These are the responsibilities of the government and/or the district assembly. An MP cannot guarantee to make sure that your village is connected to the national electricity grid and provided with an ultra-modern hospital. Even I, the Excellent One, cannot make such guarantees. The monies for such projects usually come from taxpayers elsewhere. If for example, the taxpayers in the Bushman's country decide in any particular year (or month) not to give us money, everything in our country will be turned upside down – we might not even get fuel for you to buy at fifty thousand cedis per gallon. So when an aspiring MP promises to build a university in your town ask him HOW he intends to that. If possible, record his response on tape. When, after their election they claim that you are making excessive demands on them, you just playback their responses to them.

Honestly yours,

J. A. Fukuor Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2005

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

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