Nine out of the 11 Municipal and District Assemblies in the Upper West Region have turned a deaf ear on the payment of various amounts of money agreed upon as ex-gratia to their former Assembly members.
The nine include; Wa, Jirapa, Lawra, and Nandom Municipalities as well as Wa West, Nadowli-Kaleo, Lambussie, Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, and Wa East District Assemblies as of now had not paid any amount as ex-gratia to their former Assembly members since the Assemblies were dissolved on October 7, 2019.
So far in the region, only Sissala East Municipality paid in full the agreed amount of GHȻ3,000.00 to each of its Assembly members, while the Sissala West District paid half (GHȻ1,000.00) out of the GHȻ2,000.00 agreed on by the house.
The amounts agreed on by the defaulting Assemblies are; Wa Municipality between GHȻ1000.00 - GHȻ1,500.00 to each member, Jirapa Municipality GHȻ5,000.00 to each member, Lawra Municipality GHȻ5,000.00 to each member, and Nandom Municipality GHȻ3,000.00 to each member.
The rest are; Wa West District between GHȻ1000.00 - GHȻ1,500.00 to each member, Nadowli-Kaleo District GHȻ1000.00 to each member, Lambussie District GHȻ3,000.00 to each member, Daffiama-Bissie-Issa District GHȻ3,000.00 to each member, and Wa East District GHȻ3,000.00 to each member.
Some of the former Presiding Members (PMs) of the defaulting Assemblies when contacted expressed their displeasure at the half-hearted attitude of the Assemblies towards payment of their ex-gratia.
They said they made several pleas to the Municipal and District Chief Executives to honour them their entitlement, but all their pleas fell on deaf ears.
“They will promise us when the Common Fund comes, they will pay, but when it lands and you call them they will either not pick your call or they will pick and start complaining that the Assemblies were sitting on heavy debts”, they said.
“What we have realized is that the Municipal and District Chief Executives are being wicked towards us”, they said and added that even if things were difficult and they commit to paying bit-by-bit by now all of them would have finished paying.
“For an Assembly member to sacrifice for four years and be denied his/her token christened ex-gratia is unthinkable and a gross display of lack of appreciation of the sacrificial work of the Assembly member”, a member lamented.
The PMs, however, commended Sissala East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Karim Nanyua, for showing examplary leadership and commitment to the plight of their colleagues.
The PMs also appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to appreciate their plight and impress on the Assemblies to give them their little entitlement.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Issahaku Tahiru Moomin, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive who is also the Dean of the Municipal and District Chief Executives in the region declined to comment when the GNA contacted him.