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Treat former office holders with respect - Shaaba

31 March 2009 | Politics

The Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw, Hon. Seth Adjei-Baah, popularly known as Shaaba, has warned the nation could lose its brainy citizens if former office holders are treated as enemies.

In an interview with Myjoyonline on a range of issues, he said the clamour surrounding the retirement package for ex-president J.A. Kufuor smacks of a ungrateful nation.

“We are disgracing ourselves as a country; four years or at worst, may be H.E. Prof Mills will be an ex-president, how do you want to treat him, may be the NPP might not have treated ex-President Rawlings well, it doesn't mean they should also treat ex-President Kufuor badly, we should improve as we move on.”

Mr Adjei-Baah noted: “The way we treat our former presidents, parliamentarians and ministers would encourage people to lay down their lives and sacrifice for the nation; but if anybody who used an office is turned as an enemy or criminal then it is wrong for us as a nation.”

The Independent MP for Nkawkaw said these people were allowed to serve the nation on various capacities for years not because they were “criminals” but because the nation then needed their selfless services.

Touching on the emolument for parliamentarians, Mr Adjei-Baah asked President Mills to respect the recommendations made by the Chinery Hesse Committee because they have been enshrined.

He however noted that the proposed recommendations should not be applicable to continuing members of parliament.

“When we look at all these things and those continuing are not settled, I don't think the amount is too much looking at the services we are rendering here.”

He described the work of an MP as “sacrificial” because “I don't have a research officer, I don't have an office, I don't have a secretary; but in my former establishment I have a secretary, I have administrator, all these people work for me to deliver a better result but in parliament we don't have any of these things… I use my own stationery to do everything I do for parliament, but this is not supposed to be that.”

He said MPs should even have an office in their respective constituencies, which absence has compelled him to use his residence as an office. “I don't have my privacy, people queue up 24 hours to see me…And these are part of the sacrifices and the tedious work of MPs”.

Story by Isaac Essel

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