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Constituents say I will lose 2024 elections if I don’t dislodge their toilets – Joe Wise

Member of Parliament for Bekwai and First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, has disclosed the reasons behind his decision to exit public service.

The four-term lawmaker, who initially entered Parliament as an Independent Candidate before switching to the New Patriotic Party, has decided not to seek re-election next year.

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Osei-Owusu cited unreasonable demands from constituents as a significant factor influencing his departure.

In an exclusive interview with EIB Network’s Parliamentary Correspondent, Ibrahim Alhassan, the MP, commonly known as Joe Wise, highlighted a troubling incident that led to his decision.

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He revealed that a community demanded he empty a toilet facility he constructed, even though fees were charged for its use.

This demand, coupled with other instances of citizens refusing to play their role in governance, made him question the worth of his continued public service.

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Mr Osei-Owusu expressed frustration at citizens who, after benefiting from projects like boreholes, refused to pay the associated bills. He emphasized the lack of appreciation and a sense of entitlement among the populace.

Additionally, he lamented the increasing disrespect from the youth in their discourse, criticizing the erosion of reverence for the elderly in Ghanaian society.

The MP placed blame on the political class for failing to instill in citizens the understanding that rights come with responsibilities. He criticized the focus on what the government should do for citizens, neglecting discussions about civic responsibilities.

Mr Osei-Owusu’s decision to exit public service aligns with a trend observed among senior members of parliament from both major political parties, raising concerns about the quality of legislation in the next parliamentary session.

“What is worse is, and that is the worst part. Indeed I will confess to you. One of the reasons that made me think it is enough, I’m not going to seek any public office again was some communities demanding that their public toilet is full, and if I don’t have those drained then they won’t vote. I kept asking myself, was it all worth it?

“Because the first thing is that, it is your personal responsibility to provide a toilet facility for yourself. Now for some reason we use the state money to build one. It has been given to you, you use it, it’s full, you (MP) come back and drain it for me else I won’t vote! Somebody has not even gotten that opportunity at all.

“There’s another community that doesn’t even have it. In the end, I asked myself is it all worth it? Because what is even annoying, and let me be frank, if you go into that community the people using that pay for it. It is the community leaders that collect the money there and they call that community money and that it’s not even for replacing bulbs. So they were comparing notes.”

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