MPs Behave Like Kindergartens – Speaker

Alban Bagbin


Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has stated that the conduct of Members of Parliament (MPs) on the floor of Parliament has lowered their self-esteem, with Ghanaians losing faith in the House.

He contended that the public has low regard for MPs because they behave like kindergarten pupils, and until they change their conduct on the floor, it would live with them.

Commenting on statements by MPs that security personnel tend to denigrate them, especially immigration officers at various barriers in the Volta Region, Speaker Bagbin said the problem was not with the stars, but with themselves.

“You see, I think that this problem is not in our stars; it is with ourselves; how we also conduct ourselves. Will they ever tell a judge, after the judge has introduced himself or herself, I am a judge at a High Court of so, so and so, and gets a response, and so what?” he asked rhetorically.

He continued, “Will they also say that to a minister? Why is it that they say that to Members of Parliament? We need to look at it first. If there are other challenges above us, then we look at those challenges.

“I want to implore all of you; pleading with all of you to conduct ourselves as leaders. And sometimes, when you are doing this on the floor, they look at it and they assess you.

“And so when you go and say I am a Member of Parliament and they know that on the floor of the House there is no difference between you and the kindergarten pupils,” the Speaker stressed.

He added, “It is not me using the language. It is the public. I met them and they said that. That they sat down and listened to the parliamentary thing, and the way people conducted themselves was like they were even worse than the kindergarten pupils.”

“And they were talking to me, the Speaker, for me to know that this is their view. And so, I am pleading with you, please, don’t take this duty lightly,” he stated.

Mr. Bagbin said the public does not understand that MPs, despite the display of hot-headedness on the floor, are also friends, noting, “They don’t understand what you do outside together – that you are really good intimate friends.”

“They see what you do here (on the floor) and that is what they use to judge you. And I know a number of Members of Parliament who have opted out that they won’t contest again because of the way things have deteriorated,” he claimed.

The Speaker said he was “lucky and also unfortunate to be presiding over such a parliament – hung parliament; very difficult to manage. But I think we have done well.”

“I can only say that in these things let’s try to empower the Ghana Armed Forces. Because if we have empowered them we may not even need to ask the immigration officers to carry arms,” he asserted.

The issues arose while MPs were reacting to a statement made on the floor by Abla Dzifa Gomashie, National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ketu South, concerning an alleged assault on a woman by immigration officers in her constituency.


By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House