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07.10.2002 General News

"I'm not a silent MP, I'm reserved"

By Chronicle
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Hon. Michael Teye Nyaunu, member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo, who is described by his admirers as a 'political Maradona' by dint of his ability to dribble his political opponents and cruise to electoral victories even when all odds appear to be against him, has declared that even though he may be seen as an introvert, that reserved character trait in him is far from the conclusion by some people that he had been silent in parliament and expects his critics to be abreast of parliamentary proceedings before they make such pronouncements.

The MP said this when he granted an exclusive interview to the Chronicle at his New Nuaso residence last weekend, and hinted that in the last session he made a full statement in the house on the National Republic Day Celebrations held at Somanya and contributed effectively during the debate on drug abuse; but because very often only clips of these events are shown on television, many do not have the opportunity to see everything for themselves.

He explained that he contributes a lot at committee meetings but final decisions at such meetings are the reserves of committee chairmen to address the house on.

Apart from that, he said as part of the style of the NDC caucus in the house, members' views are collated and left for leaders with requisite experience in the specific area in question, like colleagues Bagbin and Doe Adjaho, to blow the final whistle on behalf of the various contributors.

On the controversial tractor he allegedly purchased with unbudgeted funds, Mr. Nyaunu, now charged, said "There is no big deal; and certainly people are getting it all wrong."

He explained that with his common fund of ¢13 million, he authorised the district administration to use ¢11 million out of it to acquire a tractor on loan from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for a co-operative farm he intended to establish to help the youth in his constituency, and registered the tractor in the name of the co-operative and not in his personal name as is being trumpeted; but from the way the present district administration is going about the issue by dragging his name to and fro, he advised that the district must be in a position to take up the assets and liabilities, pay the remaining ¢18 million to MoFA and come for the tractor if they so wished.

He said purchasing a tractor with his common fund was not a wrong thing to do, since the guidelines to MPs states that they "select and approve" their own projects, and added that even if his detractors take over the services of the tractor he doubted if they would be able to manage it effectively since it is already on record that they could not manage one a few years back and had to sell it for peanuts.

Asked to give his honest views of the NPP government, he pointed out that things are easier said than done, referring to the yet-to-be fulfilled campaign promises; and said the hopes and aspirations of the people were raised to unbelievable heights through the promises of jobs, better standards of living, removal of the cash and carry system and a reduction in the number of ministerial appointments, all of which have remained dreams.

As for the President's Special Initiative on cassava, he said even though it is a laudable idea, he expected that the whole programme would be reviewed because other countries are extracting better quality starch from potato instead of the cassava we are relying on.

Hon. Nyaunu condemned the numerous foreign travels of the President which he said had brought no investment and expected that if anything at all the NDC's achievements should also be highlighted.

All through the interview the politician, who sounded more like a preacher, said he would rather wait on God than foretell his political future, and advised his constituents to work before eating, according to the demands of the bible, and eschew extravagant living.

Finally, the MP regretted the action of the six assembly members who after collecting forms, campaigning and winning district assembly elections in his constituency got themselves deeply involved in land litigation; a thing he felt should have been left solely for chiefs and other custodians of land in the country.

He ended by stressing that "Akuse will never go."

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