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27.11.2005 Feature Article

An open Letter to Parliamentarians

An open Letter to Parliamentarians
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For the Sake of our Country Parliament MUST ACT

Dear Parliamentarians

Let us get one thing clear, categoric and unambiguous. The arrest of Mr. Amoateng has got absoulutely nothing to do with the ruling party, the Government the good people of Ghana or you “honorables”.

I was not involved, you were not involved and the NPP party was not involved in the planning and execution of this diabolical act. It will be nonsense to argue that President Bush and his Republican Party were culpable for the naming of the CIA agent. Mr. Amoateng is an adult and he is responsible for his actions. However, the actions of Mr. Amoateng has brought shame, disgrace and tarnished our hard won image and reputation as a beacon of hope in sub- Sahara Africa. This morning I could not face my peers I took the day off. I am fiercely proud of my country, its people, culture and its achievements but today I am depressed.

Having said that, “Honorables” we all need to pause and examine our value system. A system that is perpetuated by a political process which makes it hard for MP's, Ministers, Civil Servants, Elected Officials to remain respectable and survive on their wages. Let us take Mr. Amoateng as an example of what is wrong with our body politic and our value system.

Mr. Amoateng has donated millions in support of Domeabra electfification project., millions to the construction of a borehole, millions to the Construction of a palace, and contributed to the building of a 6-classroom block. All this supposed act of generosity was done on his MP wages. Did any MP constituents, family members, friends, elders; church elders question him on the whereabouts of the money.

Honorable reward

For his supposed generosity Mr. Amoateng was given the front seat in the church pews a chieftaincy title, chaired functions, sat at the front row during funerals and was primus inter pares in Nkoranza. Meanwhile, struggling workers, decent folks struggling to make an honest living are treated to the “tro-tro “ treatment”. I have a good friend whose wife sells “koko” do believe me when his kids have a scrap at school they are teased and humiliated as “koko” seller's son.

Honourables, you are in charge of a country where the majority of folks are fine and decent people you can take the lead in helping us to become the nation that we ought to be. A true deserving nation of honest hardworking folks comprising of farmers, fishermen, informal workers and all those who live, work, visit and invest in our fine country.

Be Bold and Visionary – Honorables

For a start, Honorables you can and must pass a law that places a lid on the amount of money an MP can spend on his/her election campaign. Second the MP's common fund must be abolished and absorbed into the Poverty Alleviation Funds. Third the annual rituals of appointing Party Secretaries/organizers must be closely monitored. Third, a law must be passed where funerals are held a week after the death of the person. The despicable and insane act of glorifying dead bodies must be put to a stop – Honorable you can take a lead Fourth the practice of having church harvests where ill gotten cash s flouted with impunity bringing the name of our Lord Jesus Christ into disrepute and the whole Christian values into ridicule must be banned. If the churches want to go ahead and practice their “harvest- showcase” MP's must place a punitive tax of 90% of harvest funds and add it into the poverty alleviation fund – it is up to them. Fifth, the zero-sum game where winner takes all and public appointments are seen and perceived as road to riches must be stamped on the head. Honurables. You must declare your assets openly and your earnings must be declared to prove to us the masses that you cannot afford to support all the good causes in the world.

Honourables. Not once have I mentioned the issue of corruption not because I do not see it as a problem I just see it as a problem for all of us- a symptom of the malaise that has engulfed all of us. As long as our MP's remain silent in the face of wanton greed, shamelessly display of wealth, glorification of dead bodies, pastors wearing gold jewlellery and driving 4 wheeled drives, constituencies demanding and expecting you to attend funerals, harvests, outdoorings and build schools there will be more of Mr. Amoateng's.

In the UK, Honourables, I live next 4 doors to Mr. Andrew Stunnell MP (my local MP). When the NPP was in opposition I invited Mr. Stephen Baladoo MP to meet Andrew and I hope to God Stephen learnt something from his lifestyle.

MP's, our country needs you at this time. Bo bold, imaginative and visionary – Lead us on to the Promised Land. Enact bi-partisan laws that will somehow stop family members like Mr. Amoateng attempting to sell drugs. The arrest of Mr. Amoateng is a black letter day for our country there are no winners.

God Bless our Country Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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