Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ablekuma North Constituency, Sheila Bartels has said MPs cannot fulfill most of the desires of their constituents.
She admitted some constituents do visit them in their homes to demand help for their personal needs and benefits. Some of which include, paying of school fees, bride price, covering funeral costs, weeding costs among other needs.
Sheila Bartels reiterated that, MPs are not entirely mandated to attend to these personal needs of any member of the constituency. However, she stated that MPs sometimes help their constituents using some governmental policies, initiatives and personal connections.
“To a large extent, these needs are not responsibilities of the MPs. Sometimes our constituents find it difficult to understand that we can’t cover everyone’s needs and demands. They fail to understand that our main duty is to serve as their collective voice and represent them effectively in parliament. We also see to the administration of the constituency and improvement of the general developments of the society and country at large. Once again looking at the way the systems have evolved, MPs are people in government that the people can touch or easily access. That is because we live among them and that is why the feeling of entitlement because they voted for us exist, which I can understand. So they find it easy to come to you with issues of funeral expenses, weddings, hospital bills among others, because they feel your are much closer to government.
The good thing is that because government policies and initiatives usually pass through parliament, we have access to some resources that we can channel to help the people. The interesting thing is we are paid our salaries and we also have other personal things to take care of, but our people would feel we have so much money and we’re refusing to help. We help through various means like personal connections, government initiatives to cover some of their needs,” she told Samuel Eshun in an interview on the Happy Morning Show.
The Ablekuma North MP also encouraged the media to do more work to enable Ghanaians understand the capacity at which MPs work. She believes most people misinterpret and confuse the duties of the MP and the Municipal Chief Executives (MCE).
By: Jude Tackie
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