Mr. Speaker, once again, we have another opportunity to welcome a colleague citizen of Ghana who has been elected by Nkoranza North to represent them in place of Mr. Eric Amoateng. It is my humble duty to welcome Major Oduro (retd) as the latest Member of Parliament in this House.
In doing so, it is also important that we once again reiterate the need to have some conditions of service for Members, conditions of service that will prevent these constant occurrences of Members struggling to survive and getting into problems or rather fighting a life of survival and kicking the bucket and we being compelled to go back to a by- election.
Again, it is important for us, as a country, to have a look at the electoral processes that we encounter in trying to elect representatives for this country. I know at the by-election, a number of issues were raised and I know that my party will be reiterating them in the press conference but it is important for us to look at the issues of incumbency.
There seems to be an unbridled use of incumbency. There is the need for us, as a
people, to look at the level of involvement of state institutions, especially the security agencies like the police, in the performance of their duties during by-elections. I also believe strongly that we have to relook the issue of the level of freedom that we expect at these by-elections.
A lot of our members, including my Vice Chairman, were taken by the police and prevented from even observing the electoral processes. As many as about 38 members of the NDC were detained and I think that we have to look at some of these things if we want to develop our democratic culture and practice.
Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, these are matters that my party will be airing, but I have the singular duty of welcoming Major Oduro (retd) to this House and to draw his attention to the fact that it is an opportunity to serve his people and not to try to aggrandise or make money; it is a selfless duty. He should not expect to get rewards either from the state or from the people in his constituency.
A lot of people out there have wrong impressions. It is only when one comes inside here that one knows that the duty is onerous and that Members are actually not just sacrificing but I believe, as we have experienced, Members in this House are committing suicide; that is why we have a lot of them departing and these by-elections are coming on. It is with this, Mr. Speaker, that I welcome our hon. Colleague Major Oduro (retd). Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Majority Leader (Mr. Felix Owusu-
Adjapong): Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to welcome our Colleague, now hon. Major Oduro (retd) and to congratulate him for securing the confidence of the people of Nkoranza North with such a high margin of votes