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Rejoinder | Dec 28, 2018

Rejoinder: Hon Cletus Avoka Must Stop Playing ‘god’ In Bawku West NDC

By John Aduk-Pam Awinbe
Cletus Avoka
Cletus Avoka

I hope this rejoinder reaches the good people of the Zebilla constituency in the Kusaug Traditional Area of the Upper East Region of Ghana in good health.

Martin Luther King Junior once said “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Indeed there is no smoke without fire, I have been following the happenings and political news of the Zebilla constituency with keen interest, only to come across a defamatory article about the former Member of Parliament, Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka from a so called journalist, Mr. Cletus Abaare.

For a moment my mouth was opened so wide upon reading such a distasteful and defamatory write-up, but I finally came to the conclusion that, it is only inexperienced young men intoxicated with sweet wine (Pito!) of youthful exuberance who speak with such undue recklessness and gross disrespect.

In order to create a smooth atmosphere for this intellectual and political discourse, spare me a moment to state emphatically and categorically, some of the lame and baseless projections our so called journalist articulated in his treacherous write up.

First, he said, “As the people of the constituency are anxiously awaiting, Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka to set loose, the destiny of the party in the area”.

Secondly that “or simply put it, the people are saying enough is enough and that the parliamentary seat is not his throne that it is only death, that can do him apart”.

As a journalist I expected better from him, because it is hilarious for one to assume that, the destiny of the almighty NDC lies in the hands of a single soul. But then, if we dig further in this logic, Mr. Cletus Abaare has indirectly insulted the good people of the Zebilla constituency including our Fathers and Mothers of the great Akatamanso party that, they don’t have a sense of judgment!.

Moving on, it is only lack of knowledge that will make someone mistake salt for sugar by looking at their colour. On a more serious note what seems to be perturbing which I can’t decipher, “I can’t think far is that”, it is that our so called journalist appears to mistake monarchy for democracy.

In a democratic dispensation one does not merely acclaim or impose him/herself as a leader, on a group of people, talk less of a mass number of energetic, morally, spiritually and above all mentally sound “Akatamansoniars” of the outspoken Zebilla constituency.

Take this as free education from the Nana Addo’s free education system, in democracy, before you are given the mandate to serve as Member of Parliament, majority of the people of that constituency have to endorse you through the ballot. And I do not think if majority of the good people of the Zebilla constituency did not vote for Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka he will become MP the number of years he (Cletus Abaare) deems is long. If you don’t get it, get it now he is simply the people’s choice.

Furthermore, if not ignorance or for your own parochial interest and political aggrandizement, Hon Alban Bagbin is serving his 7 th term in parliament(28years), Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu is serving his 6 th term(24years) in parliament continuously, Hon. Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Hon. Papa Owusu Ankomah, Hon. E.T Mensah to mention but a few. In most cases, serving for long in parliament enhances the quality of debate and work in parliament, which improves the task of the House. It is for this reason that in time tested democracies such as the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and India, a number of the people’s representatives take legislative work seriously, as a career but it is rather unfortunate that in Ghana some people have divergent views.

Perhaps it is purely because of Hon. Bagbin’s consistency and/or long life in Parliament that he deems himself fit and has availed his candidature as a flagbearer hopeful on the ticket of the NDC and when given the nod to be the flagbearer and consequently the president of the Republic of Ghana.

Even in the Western countries like the United States (US), people like Rep. Carl Vinson, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Robert Byrd, Rep. John Dingell among others are in the American Congress which is equivalent to our Parliament in Ghana for more than 40years.

In the United Kingdom (UK) people are in the House of Commons for more than 30 years. Sir Francis Knollys is a perfect example. And it is all basically because of the admirable works and good leadership skills they have portrayed that make them win the hearts and minds of the people over and over again. ‘For the button line in leadership is not how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others’ it is instructive to note that Hon. Cletus Avoka is credited for the advancement of infrastructural development as well as employment of the youth of the area and their capacity building.

Now, let’s set the records straight, in taking a minute to go through the enviable historical contributions of the former Majority Leader and Member of Parliament of the Zebilla constituency, Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka, in Social interventions, Economic interventions and Political interventions to the development of the Zebilla constituency.

As the old adage goes, “Kola nut last long in the mouths of those who value it”.

Chronologically, in 1986 Zebilla was not a district, so it took the plausible wisdom and courage of the elders notably, late Zebilla Chief Apidogo Akparibilla, late Sapeliga Chief Baba Ayagiba, late Asumda Ayeebo, may their souls rest in perfect peace, Mr. Francis Atindogo, Mr. Moses Aduk-Pam who acted as the secretary, Hon Cletus Apul Avoka who acted as the spokesman and spearheaded the delegation and many other people, that fought, for the creation of the Bawku West District [LI 1442 of 1988].

In the area of health, with his influence as Regional Minister, he helped construct the Zebilla District Hospital in the years 1996-1997, and countless CHPS Compounds like the Soogo, Dagunga, Tilli, Boya, and Agatuse CHPS compounds, Bulinga Health Centre and many others all over the villages under the Bawku West District. This has gone a long way to improve maternal health, improve emergency health care in rural areas and the general health of the people.

In the area of Education, He helped build schools where students were studying under trees, he used his influence as MP to facilitate the construction of the Sapeliga Community Day Senior Higher School, and also the Zebilla and Kusanaba Senior high schools have seen tremendous infrastructural development and vehicles as well.

That notwithstanding, during his tenure as MP, he used about 70 to 80 percent of the MP’s Common Fund to support students pay their school fees because he deems the education of the great people of Bawku West District sacrosanct.

Now in the area of road network which is significant to the socio-economic development of any community. Most of the various communities were linked up to the District Capital under his stewardship as MP. These include Zebilla-Abukoliga-Kuboko-Gbantogo road, Gbantogo-BoyaKpalsako road. Hon. Avoka also constructed the Tanga-Sitande-Abakuga-Boya bridge, as well as Tanga-Bogure-Kpantarigu bridge. The Zebilla-Teshie-Soogo road, Zeilla-Ankpaliga-Agatusi road, Zongoire-Bulinga Junction-Dangunga road, were equally at his instance.

Also for improvement in economic activities he helped reconstruct the following markets; Zebilla, Teshie, Gbantogo and Agatusi market inter-alia. These developed markets enhance economic activities, which has turn to improve the standard of living of the inhabitants, as well as generate revenue for the District Assembly.

The good works of Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka extended to the provision of electricity to many of the rural communities in the constituency, such that almost ten (10) traditional areas within the constituency are covered by rural electrification.

Last but not the least, in the area of youth employment, it will interest you to know that an overwhelming number of the youth today are employed through the opportunities he created. In Local Government Service and the Controller and Accountant General’s office, majority of the youth were employed in those areas and a good number of young men and women got enlisted into the security services such as the Ghana Military, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Fire Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana prisons service and the list goes on and on!

From this inexhaustible track record of Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka it is crystal clear an indication of leadership with integrity and development, and these are some of the admirable and adorable qualities that the good people of the Zebilla constituency see in him and will always endorse him as the parliamentary candidate on the ticket of the great NDC, and subsequently MP of the Zebilla constituency. Stanley Huffy affirmed, “It’s not the position that makes the leader, it’s the leader that makes the position”.

Having said all that, respect of the elderly is the fabric of civilization that holds us together, and when this is destroyed we are left with anarchy and chaos.

‘You can never become tall by cutting short the height of others’.

Yes we are in democracy where the citizenry are entitle to freedom of speech, but it is not a platform to speak ill, of people especially a statesman who has kept his life on the line to serve you and I. You don’t strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

How will you feel, if your hard earned reputation is rewarded with defamatory statements?

Now on the issue of patriotism, Mr. Cletus Abaare who claims to be an NDC activist is rather seen from his barbaric and uncouth write up, to be an alien to the party, who wishes the party no good and breeds division in the party, because someone who fights for the welfare of the party will choose his words (diction) in an objective and modest manner.

What is mind boggling is that, why should you wash your dirty linen in public, if you so love the NDC party. Food for thought anyway but let’s remember “a nation which does not glorify her leaders is not worth dying for”

Long live Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka!, long live the NDC!!, long live Zebilla constituency and long live Mother Ghana.

The writer is a level 300 Accounting Student of the University of Cape Coast (UCC). President of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Education Students Association-UCC

President of the National Union of Kusaug Students UCC

Vice President of Old Azokanians UCC

and a patriot of the Zebilla Constituency.

John Aduk-Pam Awinbe (SIR JOHN)

Email: [email protected]

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