A young man of about 20 years came to my official residence when l was the DCE for Fanteakwa. He looked very sad and dejected. I asked him to wait for me so l could finish with some visitors who had also come to discuss some private issues before listening to him. The young man was impatient. “Hon. my issue is very very urgent, Sir”, he pleaded. Ultimately, l was forced to listen to him.
“Hon. I am a very strong NDC member based in Otuater. My wife fell ill about a week ago and was brought to Begoro Government Hospital. She was discharged yesterday but we couldn’t pay the total bill so she was confined at the hospital. I am left with GhC150.00 to settle the amount in full so l have come to plead with you to help me with that money, l beg you, please”, he pleaded and was virtually on his knees.
I didn’t have enough money on me so l asked my wife to make the total amount available to the young man. He took the money, thanked me and left the residence.
Two weeks later, he arrived at the office. I was very busy so l couldn’t see him immediately. When l finally ushered him in, his countenance told me he wasn’t happy with me because he might have waited there for long. I tried to engage him in a conversation to help him loosen his heart and to straighten his corrugated face.
I offered him a seat but he declined to sit down. He only came to invite me to his programme.
“Good afternoon, Hon. As you are aware, my wife fell ill for about a week and everybody felt she might not be able to survive it but God willing, she is now ok. I am organizing a thanksgiving service and a small party for her. I want you to be the chairman for the occasion. I know you are a very busy person so if you cannot make it, kindly get a high ranking officer from your office to represent you. This is your invitation letter”, he concluded.
I took the envelope from him and realized it was not sealed and there was no letter in the envelope.
“My brother, your envelope doesn’t contain any letter of invitation”, l reminded.
“There is no letter in it. You will have to return the envelope to me. I have indicated your name at the back of it. You just indicate the amount you want to donate to the programme at the back of the envelope against the column marked “Amount”, he explained.
“So this envelope is to solicit for funds from me to organize a thanksgiving service and a party for your wife who has recovered from her sickness?”, l enquired.
“Exactly so, Hon. I need funds for the programme”, he confirmed.
“I think it is wrong to come to me to take money to foot your hospital bill and to come to me again to take money for a party. You could have used the funds to invest more into your farming activities instead of organizing a programme of this nature. If l have to pay all hospital bills and pay for people to party, I will spend all my life using a basket to fetch water”, l declared with a little concern in my voice.
The gentleman snatched the envelope from me and shuttled out of my office.
During the 2016 elections when l visited his community to campaign, he organized people in the community just opposite the venue, inciting them to vote against me.
Images of our previous encounters raced passed the eyes of my memory. I saw him virtually kneeling before me for money to help settle his medical bills and his presence at my office, soliciting for money to organize a party for the wife.
I shook my head in disbelief.