General News of Friday, 5 April 2013
The NPP Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong is clearly a piqued man. Known for his outspokenness, the NPP MP is unenthused at attempts to incite the public against Parliamentarians as egoistic while Ghanaians wallow in poverty and outstanding debts of public sector workers remained unpaid with some even declaring indefinite strike actions.
In a fit of rage, the NPP firebrand likened the work of a parliamentarian to people who carry faeces or “toilet” in pans on their heads; an undignified job to be precise.
Mr. Agyapong was reacting to public outcry over the payment of ex-gratia which was paid to each Member of Parliament that has served four terms in parliament duly.
For the past few months, this country has witnessed series of strike actions on the labour front.
At the last count, five labour groups have embarked on strike this year. They are the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) who suspended medical services to National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cardholders. This was followed by the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Concerned Teachers Association (CCT), the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union and now UTAG.
In the wake of all these agitations, government is reported to have paid all 230 parliamentarians who served in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic their ex-gratia said to total GH¢47 million.
Out of the amount, the MPs who retained their membership of the House after the December 7, 2012 elections received GH¢276,000 each, while those who lost their seats were paid GH¢311,000 each.
But speaking to the issue on Okay FM’s morning show, Hon. Agyapong cautioned those on strike not to envy the monies given to parliamentarians since they deserve their due.
“With all due respect, I believe we (MPs) come next to those who carry human excreta – The most foolish work to do in Ghana is to become a Parliamentarian.
“How on earth can someone get pregnant with her fifth child and after delivering the baby, would walk to a parliamentarian and tell him or her ‘pay my hospital bills’? People live with their husbands and after giving birth, come to plead with us to settle their children’s school fees.
In recent times, even when someone is getting ready to marry; the MP is forced to bear the cost. Is this something you can call a profession? If you dare refuse to foot their bills, they go around tarnishing your image. This is the kind of job we do as parliamentarians”, he said.