Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has given strong indication that he will not do the bidding of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in his line of work as Speaker of the Eighth Parliament.
According to him, his new role as the third citizen of the country demands him to be apolitical, indicating that he cannot be influenced to tow a certain line since he is a Speaker of Ghana and not NDC.
The Speaker’s response appeared to have been directed at NDC elements led by their communications officer, Sammy Gyamfi, who attacked him and the NDC group in Parliament for approving President Akufo-Addo’s ministers recently.
In an interview with Class FM in Accra, Mr. Bagbin, who until his appointment was the NDC MP for Nadowli Kaleo, stated that he no longer belonged to any political party because of the new position that required him to hold the balance of power.
The longest-serving legislator said cynically that even his girlfriend could not influence him to favour or give advantage to the NDC or the NPP group in Parliament.
“I don’t belong to any party. I am Speaker of Ghana. I am not a Speaker of the NPP. I am not a Speaker of NDC. I am Speaker of Ghana. And I must hold the balance.
“My duty is to ensure that there is an even playing field and when decision is taken, I announce it. That is all,” he explained his role.
He continued, “And so, if you sit down and look at me and think that maybe you were my girlfriend before, therefore I should give you an advantage over another who I have never met, please, then don’t come to me, you won’t get it.
“Let’s finish. After work we can do that business together. Not when I am working. That’s my nature; that’s how I have been up to this time and so, it is unfortunate that these things are happening,” he added.
After Mr. Bagbin’s statement, a former NDC Deputy Secretary, Koku Anyidoho, who has been suspended by the party, fired the NDC Communications Officer for his recent attacks on the Speaker and the NDC MPs.
When President Akufo-Addo’s ministers were approved by Parliament, Mr. Gyamfi launched a blistering attack on Mr. Bagbin, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrissu and Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, for allowing the President to have “his way through them.”
In a post on his official Facebook wall, Mr. Gyamfi accused the NDC leadership in Parliament of betraying the party’s supporters by failing to carry out their so-called threat to reject some nominees.
“Comrades, the betrayal we have suffered in the hands of the Speaker of Parliament, the leadership of our parliamentary group, particularly Mr. Iddrissu and Mr. Mubarak and dozens of our own MPs, is what strengthens me to work hard for the great NDC to regain power.
“It’s about time we understood, that we don’t have any NDC Speaker of Parliament. No we don’t! We have a Speaker who rode on the back of the NDC into office to pursue his own parochial agenda and nothing more. You trust them at your own peril,” part of the post read.
Lack of Leadership
However, Mr. Anyidoho is of the view that the lack of leadership on the part of NDC Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, is the reason why Mr. Gyamfi can attack the Speaker and get away with it.
“I respect Mr. Bagbin for calling the bluff of that bed-wetting infant who has deceived himself into believing that he is the most important person in the NDC because the National Chairman, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, is scared of being the leader of the party,” he fired on Twitter.
He also said in another post in reaction to the NDC Chairman’s caution to Allotey Jacobs and himself (Koku) over NDC matters that “The fact is that the young man insulted Mr. Bagbin, insulted the leadership of the Minority caucus in Parliament. The fact is that Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo has not spoken on this matter and the fact is that Mr. Bagbin has been compelled to stand up and say that “young man, the work I am doing has nothing to do with NPP and NDC. I am the Speaker of Parliament and I will do my work according to the rules of engagement of Parliament.”
He added “and I am saying that ‘Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, stop sitting there, talking about Koku Anyidoho and Allotey Jacobs. You are a coward,’ Ofosu-Ampofo is a coward. If he is a man he should get up and condemn this nonsense and let’s move on.”
He also said “he is a coward, he is not prepared to lead the party. This party was born out of a revolution. People have toiled, people have died. Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo, if you want to lead, lead. If you don’t want to lead step aside. But we shall not allow you to cede your authority to anybody.”
By Ernest Kofi Adu