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Politics of Friday, 6 November 2015

Source: Starrfmonline.com

NDC Primaries: Parliament isn’t a 100x4 meter race – Avoka

The Member of Parliament for Zebila Cletus Avoka has stated the work of parliament must be seen as a career and not as a vocation.

After close to 20 years in the House, Avoka has defended his decision to seek for re-election to Starr News’ Ibrahim Alhassan, arguing the lawmaking chamber has a lot to lose with the absence of experienced hands.

“We must see Parliament as a career, not as a vocation where you can go and sojourn for one term or two terms and come back and say ‘I’ve been there let somebody also go there’. It’s not just a 100x4 meter race…..but seriously we should talk about building the capacity of Parliament,” the former Majority leader stressed.

The MP has consequently jabbed his contenders in the impending National Democratic Congress (NDC) primaries for using his long stay in office against him.

Avoka is facing stiff competition from a former DCE, Alhaji Imoro Anaba Adam, the current DCE, Simon Agbango and Ebenezer Ndebila. The former Interior Minister believes the inexperience of his contenders in matters of the legislature will affect their performance if given the nod.

He noted: “We cannot build the capacity of parliament if the turnout is too high. If every elections you have about half of the MPs leaving Parliament or more than half leaving Parliament, meanwhile you have spent time and money and resources building their capacity and they go out with that knowledge. It doesn’t help to nurture Parliament.”

Avoka, who is the chairman of the Ghana Immigration Board, also took a swipe at his three contenders, stating they are in the race for selfish reasons.

“It’s for their personal interest not for the interest of the constituency because you can only help your people if you are influential in government. You can only help your people if you are influential in parliament and I have that influence they don’t have that and therefore I think that they are contesting because of their personal egos and self-aggrandizement,” Avoka claimed.

Avoka has been in Parliament since 1993. He remained in the House till 2004 when he was defeated by John Ndebure Akparibo of the People’s National Congress (PNC). Avoka, however, returned to take back the seat in 2008 and has held it ever since.