President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has eulogised Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin for his immense contribution to the development of Ghana’s parliamentary democracy.
He said it was wholly appropriate that Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, should be the Speaker of Parliament at this “crucial period” in the country’s political history.
Parliament is now almost evenly divided with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) having 137 seats plus one independent MP, making it the majority in House; and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) also holding 137 seats in the 275-member legislature.
Delivering the 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said Mr Bagbin has all the qualities to be the Speaker having started as a Parliamentarian on January 7, 1993 and served in all Parliaments since 1993.
Extolling the Speaker in the introductory part of the State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo said Mr Bagbin has varied experience of serving as an MP since 1993, a Majority Leader, Minister of State, “one of the three wise men in a previous [Mahama] government, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament [Jan 7, 2017 – Jan 6, 2021] and now finds himself, in this elevated position of being the third most important person in the governance structure of our country.
“It is wholly appropriate that at such a crucial period in the history of our country, my senior in Parliament and I should work together for the wellbeing of the Ghanaian people”.
He used the opportunity to again congratulate Mr Bagbin for being elected as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament.
“Let me use this opportunity to congratulate, once again, the Speaker of Parliament… on becoming the Speaker of the 8th Parliament. His, has been a distinguished career, having entered the 1st Parliament of the 4th Republic in 1993, and I came to meet him in the 2nd Parliament in 1997.
“The expeditious and thorough manner in which my Ministers were scrutinized by the Appointments Committee, and the approval by the full House of each of the 29 substantive Ministers, for me, was an indication of the collective determination of both sides of the House to work together for the good of the country. This is what the Ghanaian people demand from us by insisting on virtual parity in the House between the two major parties of our country.
“The realisation of the Ghana Project, and not the attainment of narrow and partisan interests, must be the guiding principle of the business to be conducted in the House. As President of the Republic, I give my firm commitment to this end, and i assure Mr Speaker and the Legislature of the co-operation of the Executive in this endeavour,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo wished Mr Bagbin well in the discharge of the duties of the high office of Speaker of Parliament.
He was also hopeful that a “narrow and partisan interests” will not dominate the business in Parliament.