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05.07.2019 Opinion

If I Be God, Where Is My Honour?..If We Be Honourables, Where Is Our Chamber?

By Michael Sarfo Kantanka
If I Be God, Where Is My Honour?..If We Be Honourables, Where Is Our Chamber?

Thanks to Social Media and its very affordable and advantageous anonymity, news on the proposed new 450-seater parliamentary Chamber

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Proposed New Chamber with our Beautiful National Cathedral on the far left.

here in Ghana has managed to gain widespread prominence over even the role of the Captain General of the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan_Baby Jet. I am sure I didn’t have to be a football fan like you all to know that.

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General Captain Baby Jet
Actually, a great majority of Ghanaian people in either of the main Political divide; NPP-NDC, as observed on Social Media, seem to have rather more quickly if there’d been any at all, replaced the joy of Ghana’s qualification into the knockout stage of the ongoing AFCON 2019 with mixed reactions; some of which are unfortunately derogatory words against the Honourables and actually, ought to be Honorable Members of Parliament.

I agree some do not act in merit of that title like those who for instance, would stoop so lower than honorable members ought to do, to make mockery of a poor widow elected to serve with the tag; “bloody widow.”

  • Some Dishonorable Deeds by MPs

There exist however, lots of very decent and admirable ones whose conduct as Parliamentarians must be strongly acknowledged in deciding to tag our Members of Parliament, Honorables or otherwise.

Meanwhile, many Ghanaians on the other hand, have propounded very reasonable arguments for and against the about 200 million-dollar project proposal though for some, one cannot help but have some good laugh over the very humorous statements and responses. A classical example is the trending John Dumelo and Samini’s Twitter posts.

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To those against, even for spite or some cheap political scores by members of the opposition, the proposal comes across as a misplaced priority in the face of the many imminent development gaps we have to fill in Health, Infrastructure, Employment, Livelihood Empowerment, Security, Chieftaincy and other very noticeable structural and human society deficiencies the nation is plagued with.

A number of civil society institutions have been part of the very intense opposition to this project idea. Apart from OccupyGhana which has sent a strong message; “Abort it!” to the Parliamentary Service, the Center for Democratic Development, CDD Ghana, in a press release on the 4th of July has called on Parliament to rescind the decision to build the 450-seater Chamber mainly because they consider it a misplaced priority.

Part of their argument reads;
it paints the picture of a political class that is either out of touch with the people’s everyday needs and struggles or is more concerned with

providing for their own material comforts than with the existential needs of citizens and deprived communities across the country. CDD-Ghana is of the view that, Government’s “Ghana Beyond Aid” vision would suffer a loss of credibility as long as scarce public resources continue to be spent on self-serving projects of the political class at the of the persistent and widespread developmental challenges and needs of the people. CDD-Ghana hereby calls on Parliament, the Parliamentary Service and the Government to heed justifiable citizen opposition to this proposed project and halt on-going preparations to construct a new legislative chamber. We risk making our democracy unpopular when we make it needlessly expenses.”

This they have argued in spite of the Majority Leader’s defenses for the proposed project. The Majority leader and seemingly the man at the forefront of the ”for” proponents have given reasons why Ghanaians must support the project that has already received blessings from the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Prof Mike Oquaye.

The Majority Leader Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has indicated the Project addresses the porous security situation at the current chamber where journalists get seated just on top of the speaker’s seat. A situation he says poses so much threat to the speaker and members of Parliament. Some other reasons he gives includes: unlike the current chamber with pillars that block some MPs from view of the speaker, the new project allows open space for all parliamentarians to be seen when they put up their hands to make contributions on the floor.

  • Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu-Majority Leader

He also argues that the new project would be the ideal edifice for Parliamentary sittings with befitting facilities especially as the current chamber is only a renovated conference center in austerity. He finally adds the current Car park makes it impossible for MPs to attend sittings on rainy days and hence the new would have canopies to allow free movements even in rain.

Interestingly, the few amongst the public who voice out their support for the project have only two reasons; adding to national monuments and honoring our Members of Parliament with a befitting chamber. The latter apparently, gives rise to this article that seeks to guard the thoughts of critics in the interest of mother Ghana.

For the very useful lessons we could pick and the illumination from the Holy Book, this whole back and forth can be likened to the views of our Lord Jesus and Mary Magdalene as against that of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer at the Last Supper, some six days before the Passover.

The story reads;
John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Knowing indeed, The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, I strongly hold the view that the problems with our world is a lost Morality and hence any correct judgements amongst men would take into account the veracity of various arguments as in line with lessons from the Holy Scriptures revealed by hindsight.

A critical look at the all important passage above indicates the original intent for the opposition from Judas; He was a thief and second, cared not about the Poor. Like they say, scriptures don’t lie. It is a glaring truth that poverty situations abound but again, Jesus raises an interesting pointer as he addresses Judas; ”the poor is always with us, but me, you have not.

Does that mean all Jesus cared for was the Opulence and Lavishing accorded him by Mary Magdalene when really the ointment’s monetary worth could buy a lot more bread and then by Jesus’ multiplying power, feed millions? For the well discerning, your guess is just as mine; A big No! All through the prophecies before His coming, the life He lived and the promises He left for the world, we know that Jesus actually came for the Poor and downtrodden.

This then gives rise to the very paramount principle of PROTON which means first things first in determination of order. Thus, Jesus puts Honour and Honourable things ahead of meeting the needs of the poor in society. This is in sharp contrast to Judas who turned a loud advocate for the poor which eventually was revealed a pseudo and populist one. The man would selfishly steal the money even if the ointment got sold to help the poor.

Parliamentarians are Ghanaians like everyone else and it makes me wonder if all of us raising reasonable arguments against the proposed chamber do really mean well for the poor and would actually go by the useful alternatives if given the same conditions and positions as Majority Leader and or the Speaker of Parliament.

Hey reader! What would you do at the thought of $200 million estimated cash at your disposal? If the first thought is not towards others, you should consider yourself a hypocrite for criticising the members of Parliament. If for nothing at all, these people plan to formulate laws in the proposed chamber to regulate conducts within the entire nation with the poor in mind. If a good portion of our increases do not go to help the poor in our own meager ways, we become hypocrites in vilifying our Parliamentarians.

At this point, I am sure I have almost been tagged a hater of helping poor people and a lover of the perceived wastage the $200million dollars is proposed to be used for. Relax! I am having a good laugh at the interesting arguments going on in my head right now. Lol! It is enigmatic!

Yet the Proton principle inherently propounded by our Lord Jesus in His response to Judas and the people gathered, raises some serious questions and objections at the parliamentarians and their bootlicking friends supporting the proposed chamber.

I’m sure you can now appreciate the fact that the word of God is a two edged sword. Hahahaha

The second reason most people support the proposal has been non but honoring our members of Parliament with a befitting edifice! You may repeat “Befitting” with some bass and a very thick voice as if you were trying to say ”bofrot” to get the glorifying tone of the accompanying honour that comes with the very beautiful structure. Actually, there is nothing so beautiful to behold like to see our Almighty National Cathedral positioned not far from this controversial chamber.

Yet, as God requires Honour by His proven nature as a Good, Merciful, Just and Incorruptible Father and keeper of the Universe, can our members of Parliament be deemed collectively worthy of the honour of a luxurious fresh chamber with an estimated worth of about $200million at the expense of all other development interventions? Awerɛhosɛm! This examination is beyond the mere tag “honorable.” I am convinced all well discerning people would agree we can judge right by searching and assessing their relevance through a closer look into their roles and corresponding achievements in their various constituencies.

Let me conclude with this; I almost got convinced that Ghana certainly needed that wonderfully designed chamber upon seeing the beautiful national cathedral in the horizon,

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but the heartfelt thought of many humans struggling to atleast find a decent place to empty their chamber pots with excreta just a few miles away from the proposed project site vis-a-vis the non performing and power drunk state of many Members of Parliament makes it more fulfilling and patriotic to join the call by all well meaning members of our Ghanaian society on the Parliamentary Service Board to abort the new chamber mission until some positive strides are made in our structural and societal deficiencies even by the useful contributions of Parliament.

Indeed, taking cognisance of the fact that there can be no end to the writing of many books and articles for a worthy course, let us take heed and act in a manner worthy of mention and acceptation in the interest of mother Ghana. Take heed and help make our nation great and strong.

Thanks for reading.

Michael Sarfo Kantanka.
Hon. Abilolo Billionaire®
[email protected]

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