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Opinions of Thursday, 6 May 2010

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

I've Had It With The Freeloading Ghana Politicians.

Sarpong, Justice

Below is the heading of an article I read from on May 4th 2010 which got my danders up and my blood boiling to the stratosphere. Readers should bear with me and read the first part of that article and see how our colonial mentality which should be under arrest despite our Independence more than 53 years ago is still operating at the corridors of power. This kakistocracy kind of government should cease henceforth.

"Speaker Of Parliament Has No Roof Over Her Head?

Date: 04-May-2010

The naive and absurd behavior of the former Speaker of Parliament, Hon. B. Sekyi-Hughes to have looted the official residence of the Speaker of Parliament when the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was booted out of office is currently posing a serious and embarrassing dilemma to the current Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Joyce Bamford Addo. For since the 16 months that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government assumed the reigns of governance, Mrs. Bamford-Addo is yet to occupy the official Speaker’s residence because of the looting antics of the ex-speaker, making the residence inhabitable for the present Speaker. And since Mr. Sekyi-Hughes looted and vacuum-cleaned the Speaker’s residence, Mrs. Bamford-Addo has been covering her head with a roof at her private residence at Cantonments while the official residence is fallow and at the mercy of insects and reptiles. "

The former Speaker of Parliament should be forced to return everything he took from that residence and if he fails to return all the properties he took from that house, he should be dragged to court and a charge of stealing of government property should be preferred against him. With that said, we should have a constitutional review and exorcise the law that makes it obligatory on the part of government to provide free accomodation for our Parliamentarians, Ministers and members of the Judiciary.

Where was Mrs Bamford Addo living before she became Speaker of Parliament? Is Ghana a wealthy country where Politicians who are the best paying people should be catered for and live free on government accomodations? These Politicians do not deserve free accomodation at the expense of hardworking Ghanaians, who pay their bills, including rent on their scant incomes. The Politicians are high paying civil servants like any other worker who lives on his or her income and these Politicians should be stripped of the free accomodation benefit.It's only in Ghana and Africa that we provide accomodation for our MP'S and other officials of the government. Even rich countries like USA do not provide free accomodation for the Speaker of the House of Representative, neither do they provide free accomodation for any member of congress. The only officials we should provide accomodation to are the President and his vice.

Mrs Joyce Bamfo Addo was not homeless before she became the Speaker of the house, let her continue to live in her own house, she is earning a good salary as the Speaker of the house with a house at a toney neighborhood in Cantonments with a lot of fringe benefits. Our Rich Politicians should have a little bit of patriotism and die a little for our country instead of sucking the blood of our country like leeches.

Ghana should not be providing free accomodation for the Executive branch of our government, the legislature or the Judiciary branch. The Colonial policy of Government officials living free at the expense of the People should be done away with because we cannot afford it. Our Parliamentarians and Ministers are the highest paid government officials with a lot of benefits, health care, houseboys, maids, watchmen, Drivers, with free water, electricity and a stipend. How can a poor country like Ghana provide these benefits to two hundrwed and thirty(230) Parliamentarians and more than Eighty ministers and their deputies? These are the People who voted themselves 50,000 dollar loans to buy a car and guaranteed it with their ex-gratia. Who promised these People that they are entitled to Ex-gratia when most of them sit in Parliament like dummies without participating in any policy formulation? It is only in Ghana and Africa that Politics is viewed as a way out of poverty.

I don't know much about other countries in Western Europe but I don't think they provide free accomodation for their Ministers and Parliamentarians. In USA,apart from the President and the Vice President who live free in government housing, every member of congress(Senators and members of the House of Representatives) are not provided with free housing with pecks like maids and watchmen. They pay for their own accomodations.

Ordinary Ghanaians are having a hard time making ends meet while these People who are supposed to be our representatives are living large on our largesse. The People are getting angry with these MP's who are living like Kings, not obeying the laws like everybody else, Nfodjo raping a woman at a gun point and Twumasi duping a foreigner of 30,000 dollars. We voted for these people to serve us not for them to become little chiefs with their own fiefdoms. The government should sell all these houses to anybody including the Parliameentarians who have the money and get itself out of that mess. We cannot afford to let these officials live free on us anymore, they should pay their bills like everybody.

Justice Sarpong

Houston, Texas.