The Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Association of elected Assembly Members (GAAM) says they will boycott the confirmation of the Municipal and District Chief Executive (MDCEs) nominees if government fails to address their welfare issues.
The assembly members indicated although their work was sacrificial, government had the responsibility to address their welfare issues to facilitate their work and ensure development in their respective electoral areas.
The assembly members who issued the threat at a press conference held at Bolgatanga on Wednesday, said most of the work at the local government level was done by them and mentioned the facilitation of revenue collection as one of them.
The assembly members therefore called on government to address their concerns as matter of urgency before announcing the nominees for the positions of MDCES or they would boycott from partaking in confirming.
Mr David Adoliba the spokesperson of the group noted that the assembly members had proposed for the establishment of an Electoral Area Development Fund and financed through a five per cent cut from the District Assembly Common Fund.
This, he said, would enable elected Assembly Members to access the fund to undertake minor development projects including, patching of potholes, reroofing of classrooms, clearing of gutters, repairs of streetlights and other emergency matters.
The association also urged government to consider paying assembly members monthly allowances and ensure that their ex-gratia was flat across the country to avoid discrimination and should be paid from the Consolidated Fund and not the Internally Generated Fund.
“Per the directive from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Metropolitans, Municipals and Districts are supposed to pay assembly members GH₵2000.00, GH₵1500.00 and GH₵1000.00 as their ex-gratia but some assemblies still owe assembly members their ex-gratia two years after their tenure of office.
“We are hereby calling on such assemblies to as matter of urgency pay all outstanding monies owed the assembly members before the confirmation of the government nominees for the various MDCEs”.
They also want government to help them acquire cars on tax free basis to facilitate their work.
The assembly members also called on government through the Regional Coordinating Council to as matter of urgency assist the remaining five districts in the region which had not been able to elect their presiding members to do so.
The assembly members who mentioned the remaining assemblies as Builsa South, Bawku West, Talensi, Binduri and Tempane and advocated the amendment of the Local Government Act to allow for the election of the presiding member position to be based on a simple majority
“It must be noted that the Local Government Act of 2016, Act 936 gave the mandate of summons for the confirmation of MMDCE nominees to only the presiding members, so we expect that the presiding members must be elected and allowed to summon the house to consider the confirmation of the MMDCE nominees,” it added.
The assembly members explained that when the above concerns were addressed it would not only enhance the work of the assembly members and development of their respective electoral areas but further encourage people to take up the role of assembly members.
“We are therefore stating that, if our concerns not addressed before the announcement of the MMDCE nominees, we will have no option than to join our other colleagues in other regions to boycott the confirmation of the MDCE nominees in the region,” they stressed.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA