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Regional News of Sunday, 20 April 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Assembly tackles MP for regular absenteeism

Members of the Ayensuano District Assembly have taken a swipe at the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr. Samuel Aye-Paye, for his refusal to attend assembly meetings.

Under the current local government system, an MP, who is an ex-officio member of the assembly, is required to attend meetings of the House to brief its members on government policies and in turn present the concerns of the members who are the accredited representatives of the communities to Parliament for redress.

However, all the four sittings of the assembly since its creation about two years ago had not been attended by Mr. Aye-Paye, although the House claimed to have duly informed the MP of the date for all the four meetings including an emergency one to discuss vital issues affecting the area.

At a recent meeting held at Coaltar, the district headquarters last Thursday (April 17), the representative for the Kyekyewere Electoral area, Mr. Paul Som raised the issue and wondered why the House should continue to tolerate what he referred to as a deliberate refusal of the MP not to be present at the meetings.

He said the MP must be in the House to either respond to questions or brief its members on steps he was taking in Parliament to improve the lot of the people in the constituency.

After a lengthy and heated debate on the issue during which all the speakers except the representative for Aye Kokooso, Mr. Ernest Akuffo, condemned the attitude of the MP, a motion was moved by the member for the Amanase South Electoral Area, Dr. Addo Agyekum, for a letter to be written to the MP with a copy to the Speaker of Parliament on the issue.

However, after further deliberations on the issue, during which the Presiding Member, Mr. Kennedy Obuba, had to contain the situation, it was agreed that the MP should be contacted either on phone or by a letter, but without a copy to the Speaker.

But in a swift rebuttal from Mr. Aye-Paye on phone, he denied ever being contacted either on phone or a letter for all the four assembly meetings and stated that he was ever prepared to make himself available for such meetings.

“This is a deliberate attempt to throw dust in the eyes of my constituents who I have been reaching out all the time,” he said.

“I do not also see my inability to attend assembly meeting as the core problem of the people who are determined to vote for me because I regularly visit them in their communities to know their plight and how best to solve their problems.

Earlier in an address, the District Chief Executive, Mr. Mike Ofori Darko, said the development agenda of the assembly was on course and that, within the limited period of two years, four boreholes had been drilled at Budu, Amanase, Apau Wawase and Asuboi while there have been on-the-spot improvement (maintenance) on a number of feeder roads such as the six-kilometer Kraboa-Asuboi Feeder Road.

On electrification, Mr. Ofori-Darko told the House that 90% of communities that had been approved under different phases would be hooked to the national grid by the end of the year and that 100 treated poles to that effect had been received specifically for Coaltar.

With regard to education, the assembly had rehabilitated a number of classroom blocks such as the Teacher Mante Presbyterian Primary School and another one at Dokrokyiwa while 1,000 pieces of dual desks had been distributed to 31 schools in the district.

On internally generated revenue, Mr. Ofori Darko said GHc216,829.70 representing 74% of the targeted GHc291,150.00 for 2013 had been mobilized and expressed the hope that the money together with the assembly’s share of the Common Fund, as well as funds from development partners would help to hasten the development agenda of the district.

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