The fate of the Majority Leader of Parliament Hon. Alban K. S. Bagbin has given many Ghanaians a clear picture of the age-old saying that a prophet is not respected at home. Even though Hon. Bagbin is set to be retained as the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency in the Upper West Region, the mere fact that someone is desperate to contest him at the primaries speak volumes of how sometimes some in society fails to appreciate extraordinary sacrifices. In a Ghanaian society where corruption and maladministration seem to dictate the pace in every segment of society, it is remarkable that for many years serving as a parliamentarian, rising to Minority leader and now Majority leader, and previously in various capacities in government, Alban Bagbin has lived beyond reproach. The legislator has represented Ghana and West Africa in several international conferences on public accountability and good governance and has continued to be a reference point for Africa’s parliamentary democracy.
With the current telecast of proceedings in parliament exposing the difficulties many of the parliamentarians face in interpreting the standing orders of the august house, it takes the experience of the Hon. Majority Leader on many days to help members better interpret the rules and standing orders during some of these confusions. He is indisputably the most experienced legislator to serve in Ghana’s Parliament.
Hon Bagbin is not only a hard working MP but one of the best ever constituency representative in African politics. Very collegial, very knowledgeable and someone expected to mentor young and coming MPs in parliament in ensuring best parliamentary practices and procedures.
Inasmuch as there are such a lot of amazing honorable members of parliament like Joe Ghartey, Haruna Idrissu, Dominic Nitiful, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak , not forgetting Afenyo Markins until the ADB bribery scandals and several others, more still needs to be done. The fact that the likes of Barton Oduro, Papa Owusu Ankomah who are both experienced have decided not to be involved in the next parliament, it will be disastrous for our democracy if Alban Bagbin who is the most experienced and knowledgeable in parliamentary practices and proceedings is to leave the stage now. Not when it is evident some of our MPs are still struggling with the standing orders of the House while overambitious young novices now see going to parliament as a means to riches rather than service to nation. This is not to mean Bagbin must be seen as a political demigod but Bagbin’s modesty and rectitude account for the confrontational sanity in the midst of disagreements on national issues that has characterized our parliament of recent and many would agree that the majority leader is at the fulcrum of all that is good in the House.
One may find it hard-pressed to understand the motivation behind whoever wishes to contest Hon. Bagbin, but if the motivation goes beyond exploring the democratic tendencies of the NDC, then more should be done to educate some ambitious politicians on the need for national interests to supersede personal ambitions. Bagbin is not only the pride of Ghana but also Africa as he is set to deliver a paper on behalf of the continent at The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) General Assembly currently ongoing in the United Kingdom.
Ghana therefore needs the insightful Bagbin to mentor and groom the likes of Muntaka, Nitiful, Haruna Idrissu and others to take up effective future leadership of Parliament. With the judiciary entangled in the web of corruption as exposed by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the Executives never ever to be trusted, the last thing Ghanaians will ever wish for is a rambling Parliament where there will be no room for compromise.
Naturally, some may not be overly pleased with the contributions of the Hon. Bagbin at his constituency but what they don’t realize is that the extraordinary sacrifices and exploits of the Majority Leader has placed Nadowli-Kaleo on the global political landscape which is indelible.
One would have thought with the critical need for the presence of Hon. Bagbin in the next Parliament, the NDC would have done the proper homework to ensure that the nation does not suffer the consequences of losing one of the epitomes of good leadership to the hands of any untested and opportunistic representative. Maybe, the Portuphys, Asiedu Nketsias and Kofi Adams are apt enough to know better than I do.
Alhaji Idrissu Mohammed (Convener)
Social Democratic Network