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Opinions of Monday, 31 January 2011

Columnist: Agyapong, Kwame Nkrumah

NPP – The Corruption, Hypocrisy, Elitism continues

*NPP – The Corruption, Hypocrisy, Elitism continues with 16,000GHC filing

In a country where the average person lives on less than $2 a day, It is
astonishing to learn that the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the self-acclaimed
master of democracy in Ghana has decided on 16,000GHC ($11,195) as a basic
condition for eligibility to stand as a Member of Parliament for 2012. This
brings back memories of $25000 demand from aspiring flagbearers for the 2008
presidential elections.

The irony of this decision is that the same New Patriotic Party and its
affiliated pressure group “Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG)”
frequently jump on the streets at the least opportunity to complain about
the poor living standards in Ghana. This hypocrisy is beyond belief. Whilst
they complain about the struggles of the average man on the street, it is
important to note that most people in Ghana including the average farmer,
teacher, taxi driver, hair dresser, doctor, lawyer, technocrat and of course
our tro tro drivers are being prevented from becoming member(s) of
parliament under this NPP policy no matter how qualified, motivated or
popular they are.

This kind of decision strongly reinforces the widely held view that the NPP
is an elitist party. If the average citizen cannot afford to cough up
16,000GHC, the only available option to him/she is to obtain it from other
sources and use the state’s resources to amass wealth for themselves,
friends or reimburse the lender(s) when he or she becomes an MP). This
situation will only fuel corruption on a grandiose scale.

Interestingly, with the exception of Ken Agyapong, not many prominent people
have criticised the decision by the NPP to charge 16,000GHC ($11,195).
Commentators and politicians should have the courage to criticize
politicians from any level of government if we think they're doing something
that is morally wrong, breeds corruption, unethical, illogical and unjust
for their constituents. What right and moral justification is there in
paying ($11,195) to serve your own people in a country where many citizens
live on less than $2 a day? The question is what is in it for those who
chose to seek public office on such outrageous terms. At a time when the
average Ghanaian in Pankrono, Worawora, Damango, Esikado, Taifa etc.. is
struggling to feed themselves and their families, this insensitive attitude
of the NPP ought to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. This is
not democracy; it is sheer 'moneycracy'.

Presumably, if you are rich and power hungry you will be allowed to become
an NPP MP, but if you are a farmer, teacher, taxi driver, hair dresser or a
doctor with all the qualities but lack 16,000GHC ($11,195), you will be
prevented from ever becoming a member of parliament no matter how motivated,
qualified, or popular you might be. Like the NDC, this shows how the NPP is
out of touch with reality and the hardship the ordinary Ghanaian is facing
day. I guess money is more important to NPP than competence, ability,
service, sacrifice and selflessness.

Kwame Nkrumah Agyapong

Chairman of Young Nkrumaist Movement