‘Rate of death of former MPs alarming’

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Ghana Parliament
Ghana Parliament

A suggestion has gone to the Speakership and Leadership of Parliament to launch an enquiry into why former Members of Parliament (MPs) are dying frequently in recent times.

Deputy Minority Chief and MP for Banda Constituency Ahmed Ibrahim made the suggestion, as he contributed to a commemorative statement, at Parliament House, in Accra, in honour of the late Rev Joses Asare-Akoto, former MP for Asuogyaman Constituency.

Mr Thomas Ampem Nyarko, the MP for Asuogyaman Constituency read the statement, eulogizing the late former MP for his affability, being accessible while he was in the House, entrepreneurship, excellent counseling skills,and a team builder.

Born on December 25, 1950, the late Asare-Akoto, was MP of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, and represented the Asuogyaman Constituency in the Eastern Region on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.

In his contribution, Ibrahim took note of several former MPs whose tributes will be read during this meeting of the House before it will break for the Christmas holidays, and suggested a parliamentary enquiry into the high rate of death among the former MPs.

The tribute of the late Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, former MP for Navrongo Central Constituency had already been read, and those on waiting list are for the late Member of the Council of State and MP for Gomoa West Constituency in the Central Region Ama Benyiwa Doe; Mr Gershon Gbediame, former Majority Chief Whip in the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic; and former MP for Kwame Danso.

Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah, announced also the death of a former MP for Atwima Kwanwoma Constituency.

The House in recent times expressed worry over the high attrition rate of MPs, and Deputy Minority Whip brought the attention of his colleagues that one could easily become a former MP with attached health and financial challenges.

He recalled a paper presented to the House by a former colleague in the House, Mr P C Appiah Ofori, which told the story of another former colleague, who after his exit from the House got on public transport.

That former MP used to attract media attention when serving as MP, but after his exit had health issues and suffered financial straits, for which he attempted to no avail to dodge public recognition while on public transport.

“He could not afford to buy fuel. What is the cause? Because the ‘there is not there’,” Mr Ibrahim said, implying that the former MP did not have money to fuel his car.

Mr Ibrahim urged the Speakership and Leadership of the House to lead an enquiry into the lives of former MPs, to help to assess their needs after life in the House.

Dr Kwabena Donkor, eulogizing the late Asare-Akoto, said he was one person who blessed the House with his presence, counseling colleagues and encouraging them when they were down.

He said he also preached to them, and commended him for defying social challenges and criticisms as a pastor and entering into politics.

The late Asare-Akoto, a refrigeration engineer by profession, a businessman and entrepreneur, was a Pastor at Church of Philadelphia International.
Aside politics, he was a Reverend Minister by profession.

As a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), he contested for the Asuogyaman constituency seat in the 2008 Ghanaian elections and won.

He was elected with 16,608 votes out of the 32,372 total valid ballots cast, equivalent to 51.3 per cent of total valid ballots cast.

He was elected over Kofi Osei-Ameyaw of the New Patriotic Party, Slanzy Atsu Wornah of the People’s National Convention and Agnes Deprah Ayensu of the Convention People’s Party.

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