It is barely ten(10) months since the constituents of the Damongo constituency reposed their confidence and trust in Lawyer Samuel Abudulai Jinapor by voting for him to represent them in Ghana’s eighth parliament in the fourth republic. Winning the 2020 parliamentary seat of the Damongo constituency, he becomes the seventh member of parliament of the constituency in the fourth republic and the second since it was rechristened from the Damongo- Daboya constituency to the Damongo constituency in 2012. He also comes to the table as the youngest person to have won the seat at age 38.
Though it is early days yet, it is still appropriate to put the spotlight on this young and energetic legislator to see if he is fanning into flames the promises he made to the good people of the Damongo constituency in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Fast forward, Lawyer Samuel Abudulai Jinapor in the heat of the 2020 parliamentary election campaign put on the table his agenda should he win the elections and becomes a member of parliament for the Damongo constituency. It was dubbed ” the five points development agenda” and touched on education, agriculture, women empowerment, better representation in parliament, and job opportunities and creation. Admittedly, this was the first time in the history of party politics in the fourth republic that a parliamentary aspirant for the Damongo constituency spelled out his agenda outside that of his mother party. That is, previously, it was the practice of the parliamentary candidates to rely mainly on the message or manifesto of their parties and that they did not have a peculiar message for the constituents they are soliciting for their votes to represent them in Ghana’s parliament house. A cursory glance at the activities of the member of parliament reveals that he has indeed walked his talk. He has fully fulfilled some of the promises he made to the constituents and has started the process to execute others. In this piece, attention will be given to the five-point development agenda he promised the people of Damongo when the campaign for the 2020 elections was peaked.
Indeed, he has lifted in high esteem the name of the Damongo constituency and has engraved in gold the name of the Damongo constituency. From archives, he is the first member of parliament for the constituency to ever be appointed a substantive minister of state and a cabinet minister. This means that for the seven times the constituents have queued to vote for people to represent them in Ghana’s parliament, none of the four members of parliament the constituency have produced except Garba Alex Seidu Sofo of blessed memory who was appointed the deputy minister of roads and highways was seen worthy to be appointed a substantive minister of state or a cabinet minister. This means that except hon. Alex Seidu Sofo, the rest of the members of parliament before Samuel Abu Jinapor only added up to numbers in the various periods they represented the constituency in parliament. He has therefore broken the jinx that members of parliament for the Damongo constituency are not fit to handle a substantive ministry as its minister or to be appointed a cabinet minister. He has also been apt with his duties in the parliament house. He has been outspoken and vocal on the floor of Parliament in his submissions and contributions on pertinent issues and matters of national concern. From a survey conducted by Asempa Fm in May on the performance of first-time members of parliament in Ghana’s eighth(8th), Lawyer Samuel Jinapor was rated among the first ten best performing first-time members of parliament.
On 13th August 2021, he launched the “Damongo Constituency Women Empowerment Programme”, one of his main promises to his constituents. With this program, women in businesses and startups are given financial assistance to cushion their businesses or start one respectively. Per the arrangement, women aged thirty(30) years and above are grouped into groups of twenty-five people or less and each group is given a substantial amount of money that is shared among all the group members. So far, under the program, financial assistance has been disbursed to over 60 women groups in the constituency.
Another of his five points agenda of promises he has breathed life into is that one on education. Just some few days after he was sworn into office as a member of Parliament, he hit the ground running by constituting a committee of eminent and seasoned educationists in the constituency to fact-find the reasons for the yearly abysmal performance of pupils/ students in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations( BECE) and West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination( WASSCE) in the constituency. After perusing the report, he has systematically put in place measures to improve education in the constituency. It is worthy to note that his initiatives in promoting formal education cut across almost every level of the educational ladder. In 2021, he disbursed various sums of money as assistance to over 200 tertiary students from the constituency. He also purchased and supplied 200 classroom dual desks to the Larabanga E/A primary school in Larabanga. The member of parliament in a historic gesture organized extra- classes for candidates preparing for the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination(BECE). With this arrangement, all the Junior High Schools are clustered with a school in each cluster serving as a center for each cluster of schools. He climaxed the extra classes with a common mock examination written by all candidates preparing for the 2021 Basic Education Certificate Examination. It is worthy to note here that the cost for the extra classes and everything about the common mock examination is individually borne by him. The member of Parliament donated over one hundred bicycles to pupils of basic schools within the Busunu and Achubunyor electoral areas who walk miles to their schools and is about to provide the same to pupils within the Larabanga and Mole electoral areas.
Mr. Samuel Abudulai Jinapor has also fulfilled his promise of establishing the Damongo Farmers Empowerment Program, a program he promised to establish in the run-up to the election to see to the betterment of farmers in the Damongo constituency. For the program, he procured about seven(7) tractors to plough for farmers across the constituency. As part of the program, he has supplied five thousand(5000) bags of fertilizer, five thousand( 5000) pieces of weedicides affectionately called “condemn” and thousands of cutlasses and Wellington boots to farmers in the constituency.
Lastly, his promise to create and secure jobs for the youth of his constituency is kicking. To actualize his promise, he set up the office of the member of parliament and Damongo youth job center. The job center serves as a point where scouting. Through his influence and lobbying skills, the youth of the Damongo constituency got decent jobs. It is by no means a fact that through his efforts, some categories of job opportunities that were viewed as the prerogative of the aristocrats in Ghana are susceptible to the constituents of Damongo. To state the fact, job opportunities in the area of audit service of Ghana, Ghana minerals Commission, Ghana Lands Commission, Ghana Minerals Buying Company, the security forces of Ghana, etc that were alien to the people of the Damongo constituency are now part and parcel of the constituency. As at the time I was scuffing for information to put this piece together, a little bird told me about a plan up the sleeves of the member of parliament to train young girls of the constituency in the area of vocation.
My spotlight is on and will reflect whatever happens as the years go by.
Iddi Adam Osman