Forty three former members of the House of Representatives have expressed their growing concerns and impatience over the unwarranted delays of their salaries and benefits and have therefore threatened to stage a sit-in action in the Chambers of the House of Representatives.
A letter to House’s Speaker Bhofal Chambers, under the signatures of former Montserrado District #12 Representative Richmond Anderson, secretary general of the ex-lawmakers and former Grand Kru County District #2 Representative Numene T.H. Bartekwa, Chairman of the group, said the now aggrieved Legislators have given the House a 14-day’s ultimatum to pay their due benefits.
The ultimatum runs from June 19 -20. Of the 73 former lawmakers, who served in the 53rd Legislature from January, 2012 to January, 30, 2018, 30 were re-elected.
Those lawmakers who were defeated at the 2017 polls said their legitimate salaries and benefits that the government promised them were yet to be finally settled as allocated in the 2017/2018 national budget.
According to the former lawmakers, they are constrained to issue yet another reminder because of “lingering delays occasioned by a seeming nonchalant approach to the settlement of their legitimate entitlements.”
“As former national leaders, we think the attitude of belittling and demeaning those who served the country is unacceptable and ignoble. Indeed, we should all be reminded that one day each of us, whether current or future national leaders, will eventually become former. Hence, it is important to note that a town trap has never been restricted to rat alone,” the letter said.
In their communication the former lawmakers also admonished their colleagues not to treat their concerns with a cold shoulder.
The group expressed optimism that their concerns will be addressed in a timely fashion as reflected in the 2017/2018 National Budget which was later reaffirmed in the recast.
However, the House’s Plenary has unanimously voted for the letter to be forwarded to the leadership for appropriate action.
Meanwhile, news about the former legislators’s threatened action in demand of their benefits have been greeted with scorn by an anxious public preoccupied with rising cost of living concerns. James Whemongar, a university student and part time hawker plying his trade along the Tubman Boulevard says “these people are “saka” or they don’t have shame because all the bastard money which they were eating is now finished so they still want eat”.
For her part, petit trader Yassah Gayduobah says, “but they lie because our ma Jewel say dat our time to eat so let them leave stories”.