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Opinions of Friday, 24 October 2003

Columnist: Appiah-Yeboah, Kwame

(DIS) Honorable "HIGH MAINTENANCE" Ala Adjetey MUST GO

Fellow Ghanaians, its rather unfortunate but we are saddled with the most insensitive, unsympathetic, pitiful and the greediest Speaker of Parliament in the person of Peter A. Adjetey. This man has proved to be very ‘high maintenance’ ever since he was nominated (note we do not vote for Speaker of Parliament) as speaker by the President. The speaker of parliament is the third highest-ranking official after the president and his vice and he/she acts in case both are absent from the country. Such an important position requires a certain level of maturity, tact, decorum and above all a commitment to the plight of Ghanaians.

The current speaker, Peter Ala Adjetey has proved to be very adept at enjoying all the perks and privileges associated with his high office and rather insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians. A cursory review of some of the expenses the state has made on the person (or for the comfort) of Mr. Ala Adjetey will suffice. The honorable speaker rejected an official Mercedes Benz E-Class (US$70,000) and opted for an S-Class estimated at US$90,000, medical treatment in London costing taxpayers an estimated $69,000, and finally, an amount of $15,000 for Honorable Ala Adjetey to go on holidays in Dublin, Ireland.

The last expense really exposed Mr. Adjetey as a very bad politician (but perhaps a good lawyer). Mr. Adjetey had the temerity to make the bunkum excuse that the former speaker (his predecessor) enjoyed similar facilities so he can also enjoy them. That is similar to saying that my father cheated on my mum so I can also cheat on my wife or my dad was a thief so I am also justified in stealing. Or my daddy was a wife beater so I can also beat my wife. Better still it is just like saying that NDC was corrupt so NPP is justified in also being corrupt. Sounds stupid right? Exactly.

On a recent program on CSPAN in the U.S., Mr. Adjetey had the nerve to tell the whole world that the level of development assistance Ghana receives from the US is not enough. Yeah right. If the speaker is taking $15,000 vacations and riding in $90,000 Mercedes Benz S-Class, then what do you expect-A billion dollars in AID would still not be enough.

The statement by the Minister of Finance that Ghanaians should be careful of their utterances is also as silly as the speaker’s justification. Ghanaians have every right to criticize as much as they want. For your information, Yaw Osarfo (MP for Akim Oda) Ghanaians cried and yearned for change. A change that would give them an accountable government they can criticize, and not be subjected to ‘shitbombs’ or ‘customary castle shaves’. I was personally present at the Kume Preko demonstrations against the NDC. I was present when the former ACDR were recruiting roughnecks from the street and giving them 5,000 cedis, akpeteshi (local gin) and a tee shirt to harass the demonstrators. We cried and some even died for this change. This is the change you are giving us. The statement by Yaw Sarfo MP for Akim Oda will be fully addressed later.

Mr. Adjetey finally hit rock bottom when he called for increased remuneration for parliamentarians. This he justified by comparing remunerations in Ghana to other African countries particularly, Kenya. That is sad. That is really sad. A learned lawyer and all-important speaker of parliament justifying the need for increased remuneration by comparing Ghana to other countries. One would expect the speaker to justify his call for increased remuneration by explaining that the cost of living has increased, or MP’s have certain obligations that require money, and finally support his call with the ability to pay. It seems Mr. Adjetey is never bothered by ability to pay; no wonder he is milking Ghana dry with his HIGH MAINTENANCE lifestyle.

As anyone who has dated a ‘high maintenance’ woman knows, when you just cannot afford her, you dump her. It is time to dump the (Dis) Honorable ‘High Maintenance’ Peter Ala Adjetey. Mr. Adjetey must do the honorable thing and resign from the high office he is occupying. Otherwise the president with his majority NPP party must find a way to constitutionally get rid of him.

Kwame Appiah-Yeboah
Lexington, Kentucky

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