Speaker of Parliament Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has assured Ghanaians that the Legislature under his leadership will not shirk its responsibilities.
He said he was conscious of the dictates of the current and emerging issues that the leadership of the House must find solutions to on behalf of the people.
The issues, he noted, include inequality, ethnicity, unemployment, debt overhang, deprivation, instability within the sub-region, global problems of isolationism, civil strife, discrimination, migration and a raging health pandemic, which had become the new normal.
Mr Bagbin gave the assurance during a thanksgiving mass at his hometown Sombo in the Nadowli-Kaleo District in the Upper West Region to commemorate his election as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
He called for patience and understanding from all Ghanaians saying, “Criticism is good… so feel free to criticise when the need arises but do so by first seeking to understand the issues at stake and the developments in relation to them”.
Mr Bagbin was optimistic that all Ghanaians would continue to exercise tolerance and patience so that together they can journey along the unchartered path that the current parliament of Ghana represented, adding he was confident that success would crown their effort.
He said he considered the responsibility on him as a daunting task and that all he could do now was to pray unceasingly for God’s divine guidance and wisdom, clarity of thought and discernment and openness of heart to listen to good counsel in the performance of his duties and responsibilities to Ghanaians.
Calling of God
According to Mr Bagbin, God called him almost three decades ago to the service of his people and had continued to expand his call to service to cover the entire nation.
This, he added, was why he deemed it fit to come back to his people in whose confidence he rose to become what he was today, to thank them and his creator for the bountiful blessings.
Mr Bagbin noted that with his election, he foresees a lot more coming together for Parliament and civil society, and an elevated check on the government in order for it to work in the utmost interest of the people of Ghana.
“The Lord wants Parliament to respect the interest of Ghanaians a lot more and to strengthen institutions and not individuals, hence the outcome of the recent election of a hanged Parliament and a Speaker not from the ruling government.
“It comes with a huge responsibility – a responsibility to maintain the checks and balances of the executive and the legislature, a responsibility to hold the government accountable for its decisions and to maintain the balance between political party interest and that of the national interest,” Mr Bagbin said.
Missionary of Africa, the Catholic Bishop of Wa, The Most Rev. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, who performed the thanksgiving sermon, thanked God for continuing to elevate Mr Bagbin to serve his people and the country at large.
He prayed for the Speaker so that his integrity will be strengthened by his faith as a catholic, in order that he would give voice to the voiceless in parliamentary discussions.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu, Majority Leader and Minority Leader respectively in Parliament as well as other leaders of Parliament and bigwigs of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) accompanied the Speaker to the Upper West Region.