Speaker Alban Bagbin has returned fire to the public criticizing him for spending the taxpayer’s money on his medical trip to Dubai.
According to him, the move to embark on such a medical trip to Dubai is part of his conditions of service, like any other Speakers of Ghana’s Parliament, are entitled to such routine medical check-ups, just like officials of the Executive and Judicil arms of government.
The speaker also advises that his health issues and that of other office bearers are not politicized as anybody could be taken ill at any time.
In a statement issued and signed by his counsel, Magnus Kofi Amoatey, Member of Parliament for Yilo Krobo in the Eastern Region, said most staff of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies also have similar facilities at their disposal and continue to take advantage of such arrangements to their benefit.
The statement continues that, “Let it be placed on record that, the Speaker is accompanied by four officials, to the exclusion of his Aide De Camp, Protocol Officer, Butler, and other relevant staff”.
“Indeed, the records of the Parliamentary Service are replete with evidence which point to the fact that all Speakers of the fourth Republican Parliament have at one time or another, accessed this facility”.
It further added that “It is worth noting that, it is not only the Speaker of Parliament and his Deputies that are entitled to such a facility but and the entire leadership of the House are also entitled to the same facility and continually resort to it when the need arises”.
The statement explained that “The current Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, being mindful of the times in which the country finds itself, traveled with a comparatively skeletal staff, taking into consideration, the economic situation in the country and bearing in mind, the need for frugal and prudent spending”.
“Indeed, the Speaker has on several occasions stated openly and continues to maintain his position for Members of Parliament to help safeguard the public purse and so has been mindful of same in all his dealings as Speaker,” the statement added.
“The office of the Speaker wishes to assure the general citizenry of its commitment to protecting the public purse at all times. Parliament is also committed to seeking the best interest of the people they represent and will continue to always do so”.
“The Speaker is mindful of the fact that, in the course of their duties, Members of the House may disagree on issues on the floor, but these are all based on procedures, which govern the work of the House and which are strictly adhered to without fear or favor”.
“It is an undeniable fact that the Membership of the House is one whole group, with a common agenda and destiny”, the statement underscored.
– BY Daniel Bampoe