By Frederick E. Aggrey .
Ras Mubarak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kumbungu Constituency, caused a stir in Parliament yesterday, when he decided to ride on bicycle from his home to the august House in protest against high fuel cost.
The law maker, wearing a pair of trousers, a reflector over a shirt, and a protective helmet, rode on the 17-kilometre road from his residence in Accra to Parliament House, leaving behind his official vehicles.
Speaking to the press, he indicated that he decided to take that means of transport to drum home the sufferings and hardships Ghanaians are going through under this current administration. Citing arbitrary increases in fuel cost, which have had a rippling effect on the cost of living and the resultant laying off of workers by industries as basis for his complaints, he indicated that someone must stand as a voice for the people, since they do not have one, as far as governance issues are concerned.
This, however, did not go down well with the recently-approved Gender Minister and Member for Agona West, Cynthia Morrison, who interrupted Ras Mubarak midway whilst addressing the press.
She, therefore, marched the Kumbungu lawmaker to the car park to show to all Ghanaians the bicycle he claimed he had brought to the House, dragging pressmen present along. Upon seeing the bicycle, the Agona West MP labelled the action of the Kumbungu MP as populist and propaganda.
She added that all of them, including Ghanaians, would monitor not only the MP, but all Minority members to see whether, indeed, they would continue to ride bicycles to the House, adding that if they did not, then Ghanaians should know that it was mere propaganda.
Ras Mubarak, however, admonished the government to listen to the cries of the people, adding that he would ride the bicycle back home and would repeat this often. He also called on fellow lawmakers to join him.
Mubarak said he would ride the bike back home, and indicated that he would ride more often to Parliament from now onwards, citing the health benefits the exercise offers, aside the message he wants to put across.
This, however, seems not to have gone down well with some members of the Minority side, who criticised the move by the honourable member. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Yunyoo, Joseph Bipoba Naabu, said he did not understand why his colleague who owned a V8 would choose to rather ride a bicycle to the House. To him, his colleague just wants cheap popularity, adding that President Akufo-Addo has no control over fuel prices.
He said: “Ras Mubarak, a Member of Parliament and my colleague on the NDC side – it is unfortunate for him to say he will do that. The situation we find ourselves in Ghana today, I don’t see to the extent that a Member of Parliament will say that life is hard, therefore, he is using a bicycle to Parliament. He’s been given V8. You see, we should not be politicising our economic situation in a vacuum. We shouldn’t just be criticising because we are in opposition and so we should criticise. We should criticise constructively. We should give a very good reason for criticising so that people who are with us – those people who voted us to power – will know that the action and or inaction of the Member of Parliament is in the right direction