In a recent interview granted by the Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, revealed the mounting pressure that some National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs are facing ahead of the upcoming primaries on May 13.
Dafeamekpor explained that MPs are being overwhelmed with requests from constituents to cover various personal expenses such as education, medical bills, and funeral expenses.
According to Dafeamekpor, MPs often feel the need to sponsor these requests not only out of kindness and goodwill, but also to maintain good relationships with their constituents. He noted that this pressure becomes more intense during political seasons, when constituents believe that politicians are under pressure to fulfill their demands.
Dafeamekpor revealed that these requests are coming in “bits and pieces” from various constituents and sometimes include expenses that are not directly related to their role as MPs. He stated that he has personally received requests for funding for naming ceremonies, building school blocks, child support, and farming expenses.
The South Dayi MP also spoke about the financial burden that these requests put on MPs, especially during the primary season. He stated that MPs are already under financial pressure due to the cost of running a campaign, and the added pressure of fulfilling personal requests can be overwhelming.
“There’s a very queer feeling to this as though you maintain the constituents for all these years, maintain your branch executives as well. You sponsor a lot of things, funerals, pay for rent, education, child support, farming, and the demands come in bits and pieces,” he said.
Despite the financial strain, Dafeamekpor emphasized the importance of maintaining good relationships with constituents. He stated that sponsoring some of these requests can go a long way in building trust and goodwill with constituents.
“This continues and when it comes to another election cycle such as this, everyone thinks that well then this is the time to put my demand across because we are under pressure to meet it so that we don’t incur somebody’s wrath,” he added.
The NDC is scheduled to hold its primaries on May 13, 2023, to elect a flagbearer and various parliamentary candidates in the various constituencies nationwide. Dafeamekpor’s comments shed light on the challenges that MPs face during primary season, and the financial burden that comes with maintaining good relationships with constituents.
The issue of politicians fulfilling personal requests from constituents is not unique to Ghana. It is a common challenge that politicians face in many countries around the world. In some cases, politicians are accused of using public funds for personal gain, or using their position to enrich themselves.
However, it is important to note that not all requests from constituents are illegitimate. In many cases, these requests are genuine and reflect the needs of the community. Politicians have a responsibility to respond to the needs of their constituents and to use their position to improve the lives of the people they represent.
At the same time, it is important to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the use of public funds. Politicians must be held accountable for how they use public resources, and should not use their position to enrich themselves or their families.
In Ghana, there have been several cases of corruption and misuse of public funds by politicians. The government has taken steps to address this issue, including the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the passage of the Right to Information Act.
However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that politicians are held accountable for their actions, and that public funds are used for the benefit of the community.
Dafeamekpor’s comments highlight the challenges that politicians face in maintaining good relationships with their constituents, while also fulfilling their responsibilities as elected representatives. It is important for politicians to respond to the needs of their constituents, but also