The recent statement made by ‘Honorable’ Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo Constituency, to the effect that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government would release persons who committed crimes against the state and had been sentenced to prison terms, is not only a slap in the face of Parliament, but also seeks to create new opportunities for organized crime.
The argument that the statement was not made on the floor of Parliament in Accra, but was merely intended to whip up the zeal of party members in faraway Somanya after a so-called unity walk, is neither here nor there.
It simply awakens the entire Ghanaian people about the caliber of some of the people elected to represent us in the august Ghanaian legislature, and the danger some of them can pose to the country’ future.
Hear him: “It is unfortunate. Abuga Pele has always been my friend in Parliament, my senior at the university, and we used to play football together. It’s unfortunate but I can always say that this will not dampen the spirit of the NDC. Between 2001 and 2004, they [NPP] sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata, Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adam and Kwame Peprah, but it did not stop us [NDC] from winning the elections in 2008. We [NDC] are going to win the elections and bring Abuga Pele out”.
We at THE PUBLISHER will like to join the millions of Ghanaians, not merely in condemning the utterances, but also alerting our good selves of the dangers we will be plunged in, if we brush them aside as mere political balderdash and fail to do take pragmatic steps towards cleansing our Parliament.
Even though the opposition National Democratic Congress has dissociated itself from the statement, we think it is too late in the day to chastise him.
Hitherto his name had become synonymous with political idiocy and thuggery. After all, did the NDC not hail him in 2006 when he led a group of political thugs to attack and beat up Madam Ursula Owusu Ekuful (MP, Ablekuma West Constituency) and Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor at Kantamanto simply because they campaigned in his constituency?
And when, at the same time he threatened to visit mayhem on the then opposition New Patriotic Party and openly declared Odododiodoo Constituency a no-go area for them, why was the NDC leadership silent?
Again, what did the NDC do when the same MP declared on a national Mahama campaign platform that the 1992 Constitution had no room for short people in Ghana to be selected as president?
Interestingly, it is not only the NDC side of the political divide that is guilty of producing incorrigible MPs in this country. There are about a dozen others put together lurking in the house.
Whilst the NDC may be pardoned for creating a monster like Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, that can no longer be caged, we think it is unpardonable that after several years of parliamentary practice, some of our legislators have remained unrefined in their thoughts and public utterances.
The danger we foresee is that, where politics is corrupt and law enforcement weak, gangsters will prevail in parliament, much as they have in other parts of Africa, by profiteering from gaps in enforcement and regulation, and conceal their illegal acts in the complex notion of parliamentary immunity.
This is one baloney too many.