The District Chief Executive
Akatsi South District Assembly
RE: PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY HON. LEO-NELSON ADZIDOGA THE DISTRICT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF AKATSI SOUTH DISTRICT.
My attention has been drowned to a supposed press statement on the subject matter above captioned full of factual inaccuracies and I am writing with particular reference to the Debt status of the MPs share of the District Assemblies Common Fund which by law and the guidelines I have restricted power and the right to authorise its utilization.
By the table captured in your so called press release, the Member of Parliament on the MPs share of the Common Fund left debt on you in the sum of Gh¢138, 00.00 and I wants to use the opportunity to clear the negative impression you have created in the minds of well-meaning good people of Akatsi South Constituency and the Ghanaians at large.
I want you and your cohort to come to the early realisation that I am still the member of Parliament for Akatsi South Constituency and by constitutional imperative, a member of Akatsi District Assembly and could by no stretched of normal and ordinary imagination and thought be said to have left debt on the MPs share of the Common Fund seemingly and ostensibly portrayed by you.
I am inclined to say that you and your legion are not naive, raw and green in the District Assembly concept as well as the Administrative structures put in place to run the District Assembly. It is for this reason that I vehemently felt that you are not fair and just to me, the previous District Chief Executive and the entire administration in the said press release by telling the general public the true and correct position of the Akatsi District Assembly to the media in the controlled angle of your office in an attempt to score a very cheap and inexpensive political goal.
My reason for arriving at this conclusion is not farfetched. Whether you like it or not, I am the Member of Parliament for Akatsi South Constituency and it would accord with common sense and reason to contact me if not in relation to the utilisation of the entire District Assembly Common Fund, at least the MPs share which though I do not manage and make payment from it, I have restricted authority to authorise its use. I am not in any skirmishes and struggle with you but you woefully failed so to do even upon request. I can only conclude that it is because of the ill motive under reference and I take lesson from it.
However, I want you to appreciate the fact that every day is a learning curve in a man’s life and if you do not know much about the District Assembly Administration you should gratefully asked to be educated. You must seek a proper guidance else you will be found making unguided statements such as the press release you have allegedly made.
I am working tirelessly towards the development and progress of Akatsi South Constituency and that is my only objective. I thought that is your aim as well as District Chief Executive. I am not ready to do political impish and mischief with the development of Avenor and declared my full support for you and in all cases contacted you freely as a brother ready to work with you from my heart without knowing you have the intention of plunking the entire District in turmoil starting with the Avenor Chiefs and now moving gradually to the good people of the entire Akatsi South.
In fact, I recalled there was a publication that Avenor Chiefs calling for probe of the Akatsi District Assembly. I spoke to you extensively about your attempt to hide behind and robe the Chiefs into political administrative decision. If you have findings, then he who asserts must attempt to prove and you must be one saying it and be responsible for it. I humbly requested from you to let me have copies of your findings. Till now, I have not received same from you. Little did I know that your intention was to smear and tarnish my hard won reputation until I saw your press release surreptitiously and clandestinely and read in between the line.
The budget of every District Assembly is for a period usually one year and it contains the expected revenue and the projected expenditure. The revenue in this case is the MPs shares of the common fund. It is incontestable fact and this is commonly known to be released in arrears and as at now, the 3rdquarter of 2017 has not yet been released though we are in February, 2018. If development projects are accordingly projected and undertaken in 2016 as against the expected revenue for that year and upon completion of the projects payments were made to the contractors in the ensuing year, a reasonable person guided by all those considerations that regulates the conduct of human affairs would not have classified this in the year 2018 as debt after personally signing disbursement form for some of the payments.
It is also worthy to note that, no MP is signatory to the said MP’s share of the Common Fund. The disbursement form of the said Fund is always signed by the District Chief Executive who is reasonably expected to work with the other staffs of the Assembly in signing every cheque for payment. I am a Lawyer by profession but not an Accountant or Engineer. However, my common understanding of debt is a sum of money that is owed or due for payment. With this meaning of debt, District Assembly debt is the sum of money owed by the Assembly and due for payment and not paid. I vehemently hold the view that you have full meaning and understanding of Assembly debt and made the press release based on that consideration.
I am also aware that upon assumption of office you have awarded quite a number of contracts and knows the procedure for the award and execution of contract and the stage at which the contractor would be paid, thus, when contract is executed and certificate raised and certified for payment. It is only then that we can speak about debt. If I may ask you a rhetorical question, would the total sum of the contracts that you have awarded in the tenure of your office and are yet to be executed be called debt according to your understanding of debt? Would you pay these contractors if the work is not done and certificate raised and certified for payment? God have mercy if that is your understanding of debt owed and payable. But if that is not, I craved your indulgence to do what is appropriate and suitable.
It cannot be out of nothing but through Political spite and vindictiveness that projects awarded by the Assembly would be captured as debt at the time these projects are not executed with outstanding certificates. It is only of political cruelty that you would sign disbursement forms for full and final payment of completed projects on MP’s share of the Common Fund and yet mount a press platform in your office to say that the MP’s share of the common fund has a debt of GHC138, 000. 00 a fact you know or ought to know is not true and correct as at the time you are making the same.
If fact, if not for nothing at all, where were you looking when you personally signed disbursement form for payment? Wonders shall never ceased, I challenged you as the District Chief Executive with the assistance of all the Assembly staffs to produce the outstanding certificates approved for payment on the MP’s share of the common fund that is still outstanding. At least you should be fair and just to me and the constituents and state in your so called press release that as at the time material, no amount was due and payable on the MP’s share of the common fund and the total debt of the Akatsi South District Assembly is about Gh¢1.37 million as undoubtedly and visibly indicated in the authentic statement stamped and signed by the Akatsi South District Finance officer (DFO) below.
If the debt was over GH¢4.0 million as alleged, the Assembly couldn’t have generated close to GH¢3.0 million less than a year let alone talking about payment of the same to reduce the indebtedness to about GH¢1.37. You must be truthful to yourself and the people you are serving. I therefore want the scruple and misgiving you have created about me out of political malice that the MP’s share of the common fund is in debt as well as the entire Akatsi South District Assembly to be erased within a reasonable time.
Let me aver by telling you in no uncertain words that individuals and organisations are indebted and you are personally of no exception. You have not published your personal financial indebtedness through press conference but you are light-heartedly and frivolously and with ill motive destroying the Investors’ confidence in Akatsi South District in this tangent of Press Release. Money and development for that matter doesn’t like loud noise and it goes without saying that it is the empty barrels that make the most noise. It also stands to reason that if you cannot discharge your responsibilities very diligently and reliably, do not lay the blame on anyone. Let us stop the blame game and the best way to defend is to attack campaigns to justify our failures.
I strongly advise you to stop hiding behind our gallant chiefs and using their nose to sneak with tendency and propensity of creating slip-ups and confusion among them and the entire Avenor land. You have to sit up and develop the culture of hard work and desist from making loud noise. You must carefully look next time before you leap. Honesty is the best policy, the truth shall make you free and remember to say the truth always.
I should have also been organising a press conference but that would mean descending into the gutter with you. It is not necessary for the progress of Akatsi South District and all of us should know better and do things as such.
HON. BERNARD AHIAFOR
MP (AKATSI SOUTH CONSTITUENCY)