Bono assembly members back Mahama over salary promise
Some assembly members in the Bono Region have rallied behind former president John Mahama’s promise to pay them if re-elected as president.
In a press statement copied to The Chronicle in Sunyani, the 205 Concerned Assembly Members said: “We the concerned assembly members of Bono Region have taken notice of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama’s digital address and conversation with the citizenry on his proposal to make the necessary arrangements to make sure we the assembly members are paid on a monthly basis to sustain our community engagements and activities.”
The group added: “We the concerned assembly members of Bono Region will like to serve notice to the Local Government Minister, and the entire nation, that for this idea alone we are going to run solidly behind His Excellency John Dramani Mahama to make sure the vision becomes a reality, if not for us, but, for the next and yet unborn generations, alone is a cause worth fighting for.”
The Concerned Assembly Members subsequently called on their colleagues from other regions to also mobilise and campaign massively in their respective electoral areas for the former president in his second chance bid for the Presidency.
“We will like to appeal to our fellow assembly members in other regions to also mobilise and campaign massively in their respective electoral areas for His Excellency John Dramani Mahama,” the assembly members said.
The assembly members further indicated that a proposal to that effect had been drafted to assist the smooth implementation of that vision.
“It is in this regard that we want to first show our appreciation and urge the former President and the leader of the National Democratic Congress to keep on with his vision, while we also gather the needed resources to assist him, so as to be able to fulfil his vision for us,” the statement added.
The assembly members commended the former president for his brilliant ideas on how to fund the proposal.
“We are also enthused with how he articulated his vision, by hinting how he is going to get funding for this brilliant idea. We wish to also add that a proposal to that effect has been drafted to assist him in [the] smooth implementation,” the assembly members said.
The group is, however, not happy with the position of the Local Government Minister in relation to Mahama’s proposal.
“It is rather unfortunate that a whole Minister in-charge of Local Government, who rather ought to have been championing such ideas, and even commend His Excellency John Dramani Mahama for such a wonderful proposal, has rather turned to castigate the idea,” the group bemoaned.
Mr John Mahama has pledged that his government will implement a policy that will see to it that assembly members and Unit Committee members across the country are put on a monthly salary structure just like other public office holders like Members of Parliament for best developmental projects done, and one Ghana cause.
He said Assembly Members were “the bedrock of our local governance system.”
In a live Facebook session on Thursday, June 18, 2020, Mahama said his administration would train assembly members to coordinate the localised registration of all births and deaths.
He said: “For providing the service, our intention is to pay Assembly Members so that they can earn an income to be able to look after themselves,” adding that a policy “is going to be contained in our programme on governance…So this thing about having a new voter register, and all that will be a thing of the past, because we will get in real-time who has turned 18, and we can just transport them onto the electoral register.”
CSD backs Mahama’s proposal
The Centre for Social Democracy (CSD-Ghana) has endorsed the proposal from Mr Mahama to pay a monthly stipend to Assembly Members if given the opportunity to lead the country in the 7th December 2020 general election, saying that with bipartisan engagements and constructive debate, this idea could help deepen decentralisation and accelerate socio-economic development.
According to the CSD-Ghana, assembly members are at the centre of any government decentralisation programme.
“Unfortunately, they have been ill-resourced over the years. The proposal is also in line with the social democratic principle of popular participation and empowerment of the grassroots. This, CSD-Ghana believes, is a major boost to local governance and decentralisation,” the civil society organisation said, and further suggested the former president and his team may consider legislation to set up a small grant programme under the District Assemblies Common Fund to support communities undertake self-help projects that will enable them address their basic challenges.
The CSD also suggests an eco-friendly portable office space could be established in the various electoral areas to facilitate the work of assembly members in the decentralisation process, while in addition to the documentation of birth and death statistics, the office could also be used for gathering information on sanitation, building permits, security, etc. for the district assembly.