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Opinions of Saturday, 19 May 2018

Columnist: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem

Double salary saga: Victims must be forgiven by President Akufo Addo.

Ghana undoubtedly remains a land of miracles with miraculous Pastors, Mallams, and majority of "career thieves" mistaken as politicians who always shake the foundation of our developmental agenda with their weird activities!

As a country, we seem to get everything wrong in fighting anything that thwarts our progress while navigating the dangerous seas of underdevelopment with every strength in our bodies.

Just like our recent complains of rape cases that are on the rise in academic institutions, corporations, and other areas, that the law is clearly bias convicting only men, we do not put measures in place to reduce the sexual tension pumped up by women in their provocative choice of wardrobe yet we torment innocent male citizens who get salivated sexually.

We claim to have waged a "deadly war" on corruption though nobody cares about what really brings about corruption.

Why is that anybody who gets into any public office under the guise of serving us, and to help fight corruption as a canker, finally undergoes metamorphosis and transfigures into a "deadly" and more dangerous corrupt official?

With this issue of "double salaries saga" involving some MPs of the erstwhile Mahama administration, it should be placed on record, that if the government is going to be very honest in their investigation and allow the rule of law and justice to take their course, they may discover some current MPs who are ministers to be part of this rot!

And it is not their fault but the kind of politics we practice in Ghana.

Politics of deception and monetization.

From Article 93 to 124 of the 1992 constitution as I perused, the primary function of the legislature branch of government is to make laws.

My Government Teacher back at Senior High School, Mr. Abdallah Abdul Basit of Savelugu SHS taught us the other functions of parliamentarians, some of which are to scrutinize budgets of the Executive, play an oversight function over the Executive arm of government. Parliamentarians vet appointees of the President and also debate bills presented by the president by approving or rejecting them, among others.

However, it is rather unfortunate that, conventionally, almost a different set of functions have overtaken and replaced the constitutional ones in our constitution by the people whom MPs have represented in the Legislature.

MPs primary functions today as Representatives in Parliament are to pay for constituents' wards school fees, sponsor their funerals, marriages and out-dooring ceremonies.

To many of the constituents, when you are elected an MP, your salary should be divided into ten and one tenth goes to the MP and the rest are distributed to the people.

And if you are an MP and happens to be appointed as a Minister, you suddenly become Bill Gates in Ghana, and a Foundation or Fund Club must be instituted to cater for the needs of your constituents.

Why won't MPs take double salaries?

And unfortunately, almost all the MPs campaign on this bogus and "fallacy of Representation", by promising what ordinarily a Presidential candidate, whose main job, is to create and implement policies for the welfare of the people, will promise.

Today, unless delegates are aware that their basic needs will be taken care of by an aspiring MP, no delegate would vote for him or her at primaries.

Today, our system of politics has become so gutter and low that, until the constituents hear an aspiring MP promising to do roads, build gutters, bridges, hospitals, schools and even subsidies fertilizer for farmers, nobody will go and queue to elect such an aspiring MP.

Why won't MPs take double salaries?

Our elders say if the birds learn to fly without perching, you as the hunter must now become a professor at shooting without missing.

Every aspiring MP is aware of this deception that aids them to increase their chances of winning elections, therefore, the need to keep their promising appetite level higher.

Why won't they take double salaries if the opportunity presents itself in order to fulfill their promises?

I salute the President's resilience and readiness to fight corruption, but I think with this issue, he should forgive these former ministers involved if in the end, they get convicted by the CID which is more certain than unearthing some of the current MPs serving as Ministers of the president, also taking double salaries so far in power if proper investigation is to be conducted.

They (former Ministers involved) distributed those additional salaries to the people they represent who are the owners of the national treasury.

Just like tormenting rapists without reducing the sexual tension, corruption can't be defeated if what triggers corruption is not put in check.

If a country is full of citizens who want to ride in luxurious latest cars, sleep in magnificent mansions, have access to the "magnet" of "everything that's in skirt", with little or even no work at all, that is the extent their Members of Parliament who promised to help in that regard can exchange their salaries, including stolen ones, with reelection!

May God continue to expose these white collar thieves for us but the law should be balance in their execution.

Long Live Ghana.