Honorable Political Promises

Dear Nii Kpakpo,

I told you this letter was gonna come in parts because I got so much to say. Well here I am again.

Getting back to the savanna was a relief for me because it was evident I just had to get out of the city. Life has become almost unbearable and living in an environment with high maintenance just does not augur well for my configuration.

I have missed the wheelchair basketball people that I train but after almost a fortnight of getting back I have not been able to see them because other programs get in the way of me seeing them. The time I will see them is spent doing something else either for the office or its just plain laziness. Sometimes I wonder why I should be feeling so lazy with nothing much to do when I’m in the prime of my youth. My dad worries too.

Kpakpo, the last weekend I represented my office in a meeting of stakeholders with the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government and Rural Development when they came to meet us on a fact finding mission on how the new districts are faring. Truth be told, I had an interesting time.

Nii Kpakpo you know how I feel about politicians and as I sat in the meeting I found myself laughing in my head at all the promises being made and all the assurances the chairman of the committee kept giving the District Chief Executive and the local assembly members. I couldn’t help thinking to myself that even the president himself is still commissioning Better Ghana promises how much more a select committee. They will tell you what you want to hear.

Kpakpo, I sat in the meeting on my tablet Facebooking and tweeting the whole time and just basically having fun. Lemme tell you the background to the meeting.

My coordinator calls me Thursday evening and tells me there is a letter in the office with regards to a meeting of the parliamentary select committee on Saturday morning and he would want me to represent the office. First thought that occurs to me is ‘why me’ knowing exactly how I feel about politicians. But hey, duty calls. I get to the office to pick up the letter and the letter is dated 26th June and states that the meeting is next week on 28th June. Do the math. How many days notice?

Apparently like everything else in Ghana the letter has been sitting on somebody’s desk and they have only sent it when they deem fit not caring whether you got other commitments but then you should heed to the ‘summons’. But as usual I no bore.

I wake up Saturday morning and I hear sirens thinking the parliamentarians are in and since the meeting is starting at 9am I am late so I dress hurriedly and I take ‘dropping’ to the venue only to get there and there is no sign of a meeting. Even the building housing the hall to the meeting is locked and not opened yet.

I take a stroll and I come back to meet two other people also apparently coming to the meeting and one whips out his phone and calls the organizer of the meeting. This director guy (he sent the letters) gets there only to ask what time did he say in the letter? When he is told it say 9am, he tells us ‘oh! It should have been 10.30 but since (he knows) Ghanaians will be late (he) pegged it at 9am’.

Kpakpo at this point I start walking towards him but I change my mind and walk away to take a few deep breaths. I had left your naked sister in bed for this. On a rainy Saturday morning!

Suffice it to say that I finally found a corner when the building was opened and plugged in my charger and started fingering my tablet away. Participants to the meeting started strolling in past 11am. Some chief came with his whole traditional council it seems. The chiefs in the district were also invited too to the meeting.

Meeting started late obviously and introductions were made. It is interesting how the assemblymen in the savanna are so egomaniac in mentioning their names. Kpakpo since when did the phenomenon of calling themselves ‘honorable’ start? Last time I checked only Members of Parliament were honorable by title.

This assemblyman gets up and he’s honorable so so and so of what electoral area and none of them left out that title. I even passed the microphone on but well since I was sitting behind the ‘honorables’ I was the first non-honorable. Gave my name and designation and sat down. Obviously now they know where I work but they also know I have a quiet demeanour.

Kpakpo, didn’t even know the president could appoint people on the local council and I found it out at the meeting. Some of the honorable were presidential appointee so they had no electoral areas. That didn’t prevent them not to be honorable as they still belonged to the local council.

Oh my God! Nii Kpakpo Thompson, you should see the stars in the assemblymen’s eyes when the parliamentary select committee also introduced themselves. They were star struck, clapping wildly like schoolchildren and smiling plenty when there were no jokes. Meanwhile the parliamentarians just mentioned their names and their constituencies without any titles.

It was so obvious that the assemblymen really wanted to be in the parliamentarians’ shoes, as one assemblyman pointed out later when he raised a point about probable remuneration for assemblymen.

Oh yes! It is a sacrificial job in the service of the people and there is no salary. The airs of importance they give themselves comes from the little taxes they collect in the community here and there in the supposed interest of the people, as persist in some well to do areas but not in the savannah. The chip on their shoulder gets so huge up here in the savannah that sometimes when you call them and you don’t mention their self imposed title honorable, they will hang up the phone call. I find it very irritable and disappointing so my coordinator does not let me deal with them. He does all the dealings with them himself.

Papa Nii, throughout the meeting a funny coincidence kept happening. Because the assemblymen call themselves by the honorable title and the parliamentarians by virtue of being that are addressed as honorable, there was always a confusion as to which honorable a speaker was referring to at a particular time especially for the presiding member of the local council. So he makes a statement like ‘we are pleased that the honorables are here..’ and he has to qualify it with ‘I mean the honorables from parliament’. 

Kpakpo I almost burst out laughing every time it happened. Honorables from parliament indeed! That is the difference.

Kpakpo as for the promises, you know this is a political meeting so they will flow like agbeli kaklo at sogakope lorry station. The Chief Executive narrated several scenarios to prove that it will be easier if the district was upgraded to a municipality and gave several tangible reasons. I think the committee said they could work on it in one day if the district is ready to tend in the papers and I was impressed at the audacity of the promise knowing how long things take to go through in Accra.

The best part of the meeting for me was the jollof and bottle of water at the end. In my rush to get out of the house I hadn’t eaten anything and the food was a welcome relief especially as it was packed so tight you literally had to carve it out with the spoon.

Kpakpo, I tell you if only these people will be audacious enough to cover at least half of what they talk about, Ghana will not be in this mess and Ghana would work. Anyway let’s keep our fingers off the keyboards and cross them.

Moreover with the little hope we have at the end of the tunnel let’s pray that ECG keeps the light at the end of the tunnel on so that all the projects in the pipeline will see that light else we are doomed.

Keep the faith my brother.

Your cousin in law
Savannah Boy

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