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Politics Fri, 17 Dec 2004

High Utility Bills Nearly Cost Us The Seat- Kennedy

The re-elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Mr. Kennedy Agyapong on Thursday, criticized the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for the high utility rates which he said nearly cost the NPP the seat of power.

According to him, the NPP dwelt on ?big English? quoting statistics which did not mean much to the average Ghanaian, and said if the party continued with their ?brofo sem?, then they would have themselves to blame in 2008.

Agyapong, who was making his characteristic down ? to ? earth assessment on Peace 104.3 FM, monitored on Hello FM at Konongo, pointed out that, ?the NPP did not appeal to the common man.?

Lumping the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) in his attack, he said, ?the PURC did not help us, they were increasing electricity, water tariffs??

But it appears the characteristically forthright legislator who helped pull through the Central Region to deliver the crucial deciding votes for the NPP, betrayed a crucial lack of understanding of the PURC, a strictly non-partisan and purely independent body which has no business helping the Government of the day.

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Mr Kennedy Agyapong, who is one of the few MPs to have secured more votes than President Kufuor, said whilst the NDC was campaigning on corruption, the NPP big wigs were speaking big English.

He explained that the reality on the ground indicated that the people could not afford the economic rates and that with all the price hikes, the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ghana Water Company had not improved their services.

Agyapong said when he built a school for one community in his constituency and was subsequently given an enthusiastic brass band style reception; he thought he would win by 90%. However, it became a different story because of the unrealistic price hikes.

He admitted that when the results came, he realized that, ?Ei, these people nearly voted us out!? Noting that President Kufuor won because Ghanaians respected the gentle giant, he predicted that when the time came for him to leave, the NPP would be in trouble.

He disclosed that he nearly caused a commotion ?but for the intervention of Mrs. Oboshie Sai-Cofie of the office of the President,? when a minister told him his personal campaign advertisement had been taken off the screens.

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He commended the NDC for a job well done, because according to him, they fared well even with their limited resources against the NPP?s, thus earning respect.

So revealing was Honorable Agyapong?s candour that, several phone-in callers gave him a thumbs up.

The out-going MP for Fanteakwa, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, who was also on the panel with Dr. Agyekum, popularly called Opanin Agyekum and Mr. Joe Anim, admitted that one of the NDC?s greatest handicaps was lack of money.

He endorsed the current speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey, whom he said had performed creditably and deserved another term. Kennedy Agyapong would however, not comment on whether or not the speaker should be given another term.

Ofosu-Ampofo said the speaker had been ?assertive? in his capacity as Speaker and cited Mr. Ala Adjetey?s insistence that it was the Speaker who should open Parliament, not the President, as one of the good examples.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle