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Opinions of Sunday, 1 March 2009

Columnist: Agyemang, Frank

Don't vote for MPs again!

It is now clear that our MPs are aware and in full support of the ex-gratia proposed by the Chinery Hesse Committee.

It is rather unfortunate they made the ex-president John Agyekum Kufuor looked very wicked and uncaring to some of us especially those of us who think the provisions in that report were just too much for now considering the nation’s current economic situation. I have also observed that several NDC MPs are hiding behind the NPP MPs to push for what they had already endorsed and reject whatever President Mills proposed. In fact, some have confidently spoken to the effect that President Mills has no right to make any amends to what President Kufuor had already endorsed. I mean NDC MPs.

So far, none of the MPs has come out to tell us that he or she is ready to make any sacrifice by forgoing part of the proposed cash per Hesse’s Committee. Unanimously they are all for it. That is good.

Now i think we all have to lay to rest this issue of the report not passing through the right channel and blaming ex-government officials of not doing the right thing, especially former chief of staff Kwadwo Mpiani. We are now clear in our minds that the MPs consciously endorsed the ex-gratia proposals bearing in mind the benefits to be accrued them. Now there is clear evidence that the much criticized Chinery Hesse Committee’s recommendation was tabled before Parliament and well considered before approval. In fact, MPs on that day were so much conscious and I can confident now to say that most of them instantly began calculating their total sums and have already drawn their own individual plans. For some of them, the money which is yet to be given to them is already finished, they are just waiting to sign and surrender since some have already done transactions against that budget. Don’t you see how some get so angry anytime there is the suggestion that there should be some amendments? What bothers me now is their hypocritical approach to the whole issue when it became public knowledge. Some spoke as if they even have not heard the name ex-gratia before far more aware of the proposed recommendation. They were obviously playing a fast one on us, I mean the public, having recognized most of us were angered by such outrageous demands.

Looking at the twist and turn of events, Moses Asaga should please be pardoned by the public court; he just played into the hands of a grand plan awaiting execution. He should now be treated like all other MPs instead of one seemed to have singlehandedly endorsed their package. He certainly knew something we did not know then, but now it is clear. MPs will simply not allow that to be tampered with!

“There was nothing like that in Parliament; it is perpetration of fraud. Go to Parliament and check the Hansard. I vehemently oppose it. What kind of nonsense is that? I am prepared to go to court on that,” NPP MP for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, Hon. P. C. Appiah Ofori on Joyfm. NDC MP Hon E. T. Mensah too initially did not recall when the issue was even discussed. At the moment, I want to believe they are all aware of the day, time and minutes that the recommendation passed through parliament. In fact, they can even recollect what they were thinking at that particular moment. From now onwards, I have decided never to vote for an MP again. Not in this life of mine and I will personally make sure, people under my small area of influence do same until I really see a sense of concern for us. I don’t need a degree or diploma to know that the MP I voted for now thinks he’s doing me a great favour and deserves so much for that. I thought the MP knowing my plights should be ready to come publicly and acknowledge that indeed, a reduction to the whole proposal as put out by the Chinery Hesse Committee is necessary hence it should be looked at and possible amendments made for the sake of the country’s current economic situation in this global recession period. My MP is there rath er threatening and supporting legal actions against president Mills.

My MP, as smart as he is, knows very well once the presidential component of the ex-gratia package is tampered with will affect his part of the deal, has decided that nothing can really be done about the whole proposal. Ignoring the moral aspect of it and its implications on us the ordinary people, my MP is now being very legalistic and so ready to quote portions of the constitution that makes the whole recommendation untouchable. How I wish my MP takes a look at the United States ex-president’s package and do a comparative analysis! How come we on this side of the world will forever be ready to exploit the ordinary man so much to the extent that we forget we are in a way indebted to him?

Well, we live to see. Four years is just near and if you think it’s a long period, begin counting. By the way, the campaign against MPs has begun. You can join me if you also think Likewise. Let’s not vote for them, may be unless he or she is your relative because, in that case, you will directly benefit from the ex-gratia. In effect, unless the person vying to represent your constituency is your relative, don’t vote for him or her.

SOURCE: Frank Agyemang