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HomeOpinionsA sober letter to Farouk Aliu Mahama, Member of Parliament for Yendi...

A sober letter to Farouk Aliu Mahama, Member of Parliament for Yendi Constituency

I bring you warm greetings as a commoner and a constituent of the Yendi Constituency that you represent in the august house of parliament. It was really difficult expressing my feeling and the feeling of many of your constituents regarding how you account to the people about your effort in assisting the youth get jobs.

The idea of taking pictures of the job seekers with their appointment letters with you at your office and circulating same on social media is an issue that has received a mixed reaction from your constituents. I am one of those who abhor that communication or accountability strategy.

I know you fear that just like your predecessors, people will one day say that you never secured a job for any of the youth and that could affect your future electoral fortunes. Let me remind you that our father, Alhaji Aliu Mahama (May he be a dweller of Jannat-ul-Firdaws) suffered similar faith despite the numerous people that I know he helped. Alhaji Malik (former MP) and H.E. Habib Tijani (Ambassador to KSA) both suffered similar propaganda. In fact, Habib Tijani was the first MP to secure an ambulance for the Yendi Government Hospital and put his name on it, but people disputed it despite the existence and usage of the ambulance in town. He built Nayilifong CHPS Compound, commissioned it, and put his name on it, yet people still said he did not have anything to do with it. Despite these setbacks from the very people they helped, they excelled for a number of terms in Parliament. You are not the first and will not be the last to suffer political ungratefulness. Perhaps, that is the hazard of your occupation.

If your fear is losing the next parliamentary primaries or elections, the approach of posting vulnerable job seekers’ pictures as evidence of you securing jobs for them is not the solution to salvage you from that. You have done enough to deserve re-election with or without those pictures of the ‘poor’ youth you have had jobs through your help.

Let me remind you in kindness. In 2016, H. E. John Dramani Mahama saw what you saw, and feared what you feared. A lot of his good works were not appreciated. So in his State of the Nation Address delivered on 25th February 2016, he chose what became known as ‘evidence-based state of the nation address.

He transported persons who were beneficiaries of his good works to Parliament to be shown to the world as evidence of his good works. LEAP beneficiaries such as Zenabu Sumaila from Ninkogo in the Pusiga District and Awenemi Apogyanga from Sumbrungu Kulbia in the Bolgatanga Municipality both in the Upper East Region were ‘forced’ to be captured in the camera and waved at us to see and say that, ‘Yes! John Mahama was working!’

If populism alone could win politicians’ elections, John Mahama would have won the 2016 elections. Almost all websites of state institutions were flooded with his pictures and good works. The media houses were inundated with the good works of JM. Unfortunately, he gave NDC the worst defeat in its history. So, Yes! populism is important in politics, but that alone and the manner in which it is done does not guarantee political fortunes.

Bra Farouk, kindly reason with me about the implications of putting the images of the vulnerable job seekers on social media as having been ‘helped’ by you to secure jobs.

First, that act is a denigration of the dignity of the ‘poor’ youth you have helped. It is dehumanizing. The guys are not comfortable with it, but they have no option. Of course, it is not an offense on their part to forcefully ‘sell’ their dignity to fill their stomachs and cater for their families.

But seriously, it is not worth it. Respect for their dignity as humans is required of us as co-humans. This is historic mediocre! None of the 275 MPs do that and I am not sure any politician will do that.

Second, publishing their images to the world as persons you have ‘helped’ to get jobs in public institutions is a clear case of ‘corruption’. You are telling the world you influenced the recruitment process, get it compromised for your favorites to be employed to the detriment of other equally qualified applicants.

It does not matter whether influencing public sector recruitment to get jobs for your boys is a usual practice. The so-called ‘protocol’ used in admissions and job applications is nothing short of ‘official corruption’ euphemized by politicians for us to accept the unacceptable. You are selling your NPP as a party that is NOT committed to building a just and fair Ghana in which meritocracy pays more than cronyism.

Third, you are endangering the job security of the job seekers by publishing their pictures. You are selling them off as NPP ‘Boys’ whose boss (FK) used power to unfairly secure their jobs through compromise of the employment process.

Your opponents (NDC) are keenly watching as if they are not watching. Power will definitely change hands no matter how long it takes. And when that happens, the recruitment process can be revisited and if found to have been compromised, they can be fired. They may even be transferred to areas that could compel them to resign. You are subjecting them to finger-pointing at their workplaces. Don’t be surprised if some people think that they did not qualify and you bent the rules to get them employed.

Forth, as an ‘Alhaji’ and a practicing Muslim of all standards, the focus could be slightly shifted from Riya (show-off) to the benefit you’ll get from Allah for the sincere help you have offered, instead of the thought of elections. The love for power should not supersede the power of love, else the world becomes a jungle unworthy of dignified human existence.

You have done many great things that posterity will find favor in judging you. Your intervention in the Yendi Hospital Mortuary is very rare. You did it at the time you were not an MP. Your partnership with philanthropists and organizations has brought numerous projects and programmes to Yendi – the boreholes, McDan building at Rhema Int. School in Yendi, rural electrification, supply of water in our hard times, yet-to-be-built Sunsong Clinic, and many more. In fact, there has never been a year in which your PPR (NGO) will not embark on an activity to benefit farmers, students, traders, women, and children. You are very visible in the social activities in the constituency.

Wouldn’t it be great and serve the same accountability purpose if the number and other less sensitive data of the job seekers are compiled and published in a dignified manner that will ensure the job security of those you have helped? These data together with other initiatives and achievements of yours can be published monthly and periodic town hall meetings held to showcase your successes. You can also use such platforms to take feedback from your constituents about their take on our progress.

A number of your fans are really not comfortable with the approach. Some wish they could tell you. Some praise and defend that approach as a show of love for you, but some ‘show of love are nothing short of ‘show of lust’. Don’t fall for all praises.

If praises could mean an endorsement, late Sir John would have won the election in which his defeat led to his wise ‘Fear delegates’ remark. Rethink the strategy. Reflect soberly about this letter, for life without sober reflection is a replica of death.

Columnist: Abdulai Yakubu

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