Hon Abdul Aziz, MP Mion
It’s been 15 months since January 7, 2017, that most of the current parliamentarians, were sworn in as MPs after fierce contest at the 2016, presidential and parliamentary polls.
The seventh Ghana’s general elections under the 4th Republic which took place on Wednesday 7th December, 2016, for the 275 parliamentary constituencies was one that had sent shockwaves all over the country.
Though the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) unexpectedly lost most of its majority seats to the New Patriotic Party(NPP), both parties have also made in some new entrants.
The NDC held 18 out of the 31 Northern Region parliamentary seats, with Hon Mohammed Abdul-Aziz, been one of the new faces in parliament from the region and representing the good people of Mion.
The Mion constituency seat was one of those that gave political observers a rematch of the Biblical David-Goliath fight that launched some of the new faces into political prominence because of the big personalities they defeated.
Hon Abdul-Aziz knocked out a senior and long serving legislator, Dr Ahmed Alhassan Yakubu, and five others at the party primaries and subsequently retained the seat for the NDC, a seat the party held since 1992.
He who fells a big tree, must be ready to extract all its barkcloth, now a year later the new MPs are still being viewed, even judged, in terms of the calibre men or women they succeeded.
Sharing his experience after a year in parliament with THE REPUBLIC, Hon Aziz as he is affectionately called by his constituent said, he had had a mixture of good and bad experiences on the December 7, 2016, general elections.
His primaries victory was initially challenged in court by his closed contestant, Dr Mawia Zacharia, who claimed he was cheated at the party internal polls. His claims were later thrown away at the law court for lack of evidence.
Hon Aziz said, after winning the primaries, he knew he had another battle to fight up and therefore did not underestimated anything political concerning the general elections.
He has to ensure that, he retain the seat, so he engaged in serious campaign and got the people of Mion to bought into his idea to develop the constituency which has been deprived of development for years.
At the end of polls on December 7, Aziz said, he won with 15,954 votes representing 58.48 per cent of valid votes to beat his main rival, Alhaji Mohammed Hashim Abdallah, of the New Patriotic Party ( NPP) who managed 10,127 votes representing 37.12 percent of total votes cast.
The MP said, even though he won the seat by obtaining majority polling stations, his victory mood was shortchanged for sadness when the nationwide results indicated the party has lose the presidency and some more parliament seats.
Experience in Parliament
Nevertheless, he said he had come to learnt a lot in parliament, especially the contribution made both on the floor and at the committee level. He described parliament as “most interesting and learning place to be.”
“It took me time to understand the structure of parliament. The Clerk Table, Committees role, Standing Orders, among others things,” he added.
Mr Aziz said, despite the freshers orientations they (new MPs) have undergone, he still need to learn fast on all spheres and that he is still learning from the seniors or the most experience MPs.
He stated, “In parliament new issues emerges from all aspects from our institutions and these issues are often refers to the various committees which does most of the diligent job before reporting to the House.”
While describing the work of the Committees as ” enormous”, he said as a member of the Local Government and Rural Development, Government Assurance, Communications and Poverty Reduction Strategy Committees of parliament, he has become knowledgeable in our local government structures and other issues affecting the nation.
At the other end of the spectrum, Hon Aziz said he had the opportunity to lead his people in parliament and what made him more humble was the fact that, he now has responsibilities than ever.
He said, “the opportunity to represent the good people of Mion as their Member of Parliament is both “humbling and exciting.”
Outlining his development agenda, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mion reaffirmed his commitment to work with chiefs, religious leaders and assembly members to change the face of Mion.
According to him, his main focus was how to improve the road network, education, youth unemployment and health situation in the constituency.
He had within the period under review help many needy students, made some donations and many other interventions for his constituent and promised a brighter future for the youth in the constituency.
The Mion constituency is one of the poorest constituency, hence his resolved to harness resources to improve roads, widen the education opportunity for children of school going age and tackle healthcare problems, among other needy interventions.
Mr Aziz mentioned the Sang-Kpabya and the Jimle-Chegu roads, among several important roads in the constituency that remained deplorable though they were awarded contract for construction since 2016, by the NDC administration.
These roads, he said served as the only access routs for farmers and other commuters to and from farms, health and market centres, stating, “if these roads are put in good shape, the economic activities will be improve to change the face of Mion.”
Touching on education, the MP said in his first year, thus 2017, he spent not less than GHS60,000 to assist needy students at various levels in their education, adding that, he has also within the period assisted to renovate some basic schools structures to provide conducive environment for teaching and earning.
He also hint of presenting items worth over GHC90, 000.00 to the Mion District Directorate of Education to enhance teaching and learning and as well facilitate administrative work of the District Education office.
These Items to be donated he said includes 15 desktop computers, two Apsonic motorbikes, 10,000 exercise books and quantities of supplementary reading books.
Additionally, he said he had donated 94 pieces of wood, 100 bags of cement and 10 packets of roofing sheets for renovation works of schools structures in the district.
Besides, Mr Aziz said he has helped renovated some teachers and nurses bungalows, renovate CHIP Compound to improve health delivery and as well working hard to get some of the communities connected to the national grid for electricity supply so they could also enjoy lights.
In addition, the Mion lawmaker said, to improve food production and to ensure food security for the constituents, he has provided 300 bags of fertilizers for farmers to improve their crop yields.
He also lamented the issue of inadequate supply of portable drinking water to the citizens of Mion, especially during the dry season which he said continued to be a worrisome development to the people.
“One other issue that we face most, is access to portable drinking water, especially during the dry season. Residents travel several kilometers to fetch water. Sometime they have to roam in some streams in search of water. The existing wells that the residents depend on for years have all dried up,” he stated.
As part of short to long term measures to reduce the water problem, he said he repaired some of the existing but broken-down boreholes to help restore water, while effort been made to drill more new ones for the communities.
The sole aim, he said is to change the face of Mion constituency to befit its status as one of the food production hub to feed the country.
Tackling youth unemployment, the MP said he is establishing a vocational centre to hook the youth onto skill trade like hairdressing, seamstress/tailoring, carpentry, batik/tie and dye, soup making, among others to help reduce the exodus of young girls to Southern Ghana for Kayaye and other meager jobs.
Once again, he promised to use his high office as Legislator to create job opportunities for the youth in the area and as well continue to lobby government to complete some of the abandoned projects, adding, ” despite been an opposition MP, I have a duty to tackle most of the developmental challenges facing my people.”
Mr Aziz also commended Non Governmental Organizations(NGOs) in the constituency for their support over the years to put smiles on the faces of his constituents with numerous social intervention projects and programmes.
While expressing thankful to the Chiefs, religious leaders, women groups and the youth for their trust and support to represent them in parliament, Mr Aziz assured that he would not let them down in Parliament and in the constituency.
He also extended his gratitude to the constituency executive members of the NDC for their tireless efforts in securing the victory.
The constituency which is also a District shares boundaries with the Tamale Metropolis, Savelugu Municipal and Nanton District to the west, Yendi Municipal to the east, Nanumba North and East Gonja districts to the south and Gushegu and Karaga districts to the north.
The population of Mion District, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census, stood at 81,812 with relatively more females (50.3%) than males (49.7%), giving a sex ratio of 98.8.
Overwhelming majority (91.1%) of the population reside in rural areas and engaged in farming and small scale fishing, while 8.9 percent are in the urban areas, mostly in Sang the district capital.
Sources: www.tyerepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba