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…Calls for the Arrest of Two Assemblymen,
…“Cause My Arrest Too, If….” He declares,
Minister for Roads, Kwasi Amoako-Atta was virtually beside himself when the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC), led by its Dean, Nana Agyemang-Birikorang paid him a visit in his house at Awenase, near Anyinam recently.
Palpably excited and elated, the minister did not only expressed his excitement in words, but also with body language. “In fact, today is the happiest day in my life!” he declared.
This took place when the PPC, which had attended the final funeral rites of the father of their colleague, Godfried Opoku, decided to pay him the visit. Opoku, popularly known as “Hands-of-God/Hands” is a photo journalist who had lost his father, Captain Godfred Opoku, a retired pilot of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Describing the PPC as a powerful institution in Parliament, the minister commended members for their informative role in Parliament, maintaining that without them all transactions in Parliament would remain there, and heard nowhere in the country. He said through their relentless efforts, happenings in the august House are not only heard all over the country, but even beyond. He charged them to keep it up.
The Minister charged his visiting friends to endeavor to comport and carry themselves very well because it was how they carried themselves that others would see them. He noted that Journalism is a very noble profession.
He maintained that since Parliament is a serious place, press houses will look for the best of their own to represent them in that House. This is because every institution will look out for the best to become its ambassador elsewhere.
While urging them to endeavor to be united, the minister charged members to purge themselves of corrupt practices so as to enable them bring out the rot in society. Hon. Amoako Atta also challenged the media to bring out any rot against him personally or the ministry, and for that matter anywhere in governance. This way, they will be helping the nation, but not condoning and conniving with crime anywhere. This is because, Ghana is owed collectively by all.
To prove his innocence in the prudent management of all monies that came his way via the MPs common Fund, he presented two series of a magazine, dubbed “Accountability Magazine” to the Dean of the PPC. This magazine showed how the MP went about using his Common Funds for developmental projects in his constituency. He later organized a buffet for them, at which he brought and introduced his constituency Executives.
The Dean, Nana Agyemang Birikorang, on behalf of the PPC expressed gratitude to the minister and his party members and pledged the unflinching support of the works for the minister and his problem-related ministry.
It was at this juncture that the minister expressed his happiness at the presence of the PPC. “Today is like my birthday party. To see a galaxy of pressmen gathered here like this! I never thought of it, knowing the power of the press. Keep it up. This will also offer you the opportunity to interact with me supportive Executives” he said. He pointed out that he has a name to protect, and will therefore not joke with funds meant for the people, as, if he did, God would punish him.
He pointed out that public office was not meant for self-glory, but service to the people and that if one joked with the public purse, he would find himself in trouble. He praised his executives for being that supportive of him, saying that apart from 2010, that he went through the primaries, the rest, he had gone unopposed.
The Chairman, Mr. Ayim Dankwah recounted how the MP has been helpful to the constituency via both personal projects and those from the MPs Common Fund. He said besides being helpful, friendly and development-oriented, he was very strict, and would reprimand them where they went. He however assured the press of their unflinching support for him. According to him, amongst the MPs projects was a 6-story Primary School block at Awenare.
The NASARA Co-ordinator, Abubakar Abdulai, also joining the fray, indicated that the MP was not discriminative in his distribution of developmental projects. He said the Zongo Community was also at the heart of the MP, saying that during the recent Sala, he gave the Zongo Community over 200 bags of rice, besides other items.
Bombshell! – Arrest These Assemblymen
The Minister, who also doubles as the Member of Parliament for the Atiwa West Constituency, then threw the bombshell, when he told newsmen that the District Finance Officer (DFO) and the District Co-coordinating Director (DCD) of the Assembly had touched his share of the Common Fund, and that he had ordered the District Chief Executive (DCE) of the area, to have the two arrested for prosecution.
According to the MP, who is also a lawyer, there has been Prima Faci Evidence against them, and that he would follow this issue to its logical conclusion. He indicated that the two officers had already embezzled funds belonging to the Assembly, and as if it was not enough, they had dipped their hands into his meagre MPs Common Fund, hence his call for their arrest.
The Minister, believing in his honesty, challenged the two to cause his arrest too, if they have any evidence that he has embezzled a single pesewa of the people’s purse. This is because, they have access to every document at the Assembly. “If I have touched a single pesewa at the Assembly, report for my arrest, by doing same to me. I know myself (level), I have not touched a pesewa. In public office, if you steal, you will run away into the bush!” he said teasingly.
Source: S.O. Ankamah