Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has said he was leaving the political scene to establish a Centre to help Ghana’s democratic growth only to be nominated as a candidate in the election of a speaker for the 8th parliament and eventually, to win the polls.
Mr Bagbin was the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo but did not seek re-election in the 2020 general elections.
He was nominated by his party to contest for the speaker position and eventually defeated former Speaker Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye.
During the election in the chamber on Thursday, January 7, Mr Bagbin polled 138 votes as against 136 for Professor Oquaye.
Speaking at a lecture organized by the NDC in Accra on Monday, January 25 to honour the late former President Jerry John Rawlings, Mr Bagbin said “I have packed bag and baggage and I have just established the Institute of Parliamentary Affairs Africa and got some of our Professors to work with me.
“I was transiting to support the democratic growth and then all of a sudden God smiled on me and used all of you led by H.E John Dramani Mahama.
“ I couldn’t sleep, but some spirit descended on me that I was going to win. That was why that day I promised you that I will win this battle. I want to assure all of you again that the God who started it all will accomplish it.”
Speaking on the late Founder of the NDC, he said Mr Rawlings was respected by foreigners than his compatriots.
“Jerry was respected more outside Ghana than in Ghana,” Mr Bagbin said.
He further stated that Mr Rawlings died at a time democracy is in crisis.
He said the democracy of not only Ghana, but the entire world was going through a crisis at the time he died.
Mr Rawlings died in November 2020, at age 73 at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital after suffering a short illness.
A state funeral service is currently being held for him. The 4-day ceremony started Sunday, January 24, 2021.
Speaking at a public lecture on the legacies of the Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in Accra on Monday, January 25, Mr Bagbin said “Jerry entered at a time there was no democracy and he worked towards building what the Blue Book describes as a true democracy.
“He exited at a time democracy is in crisis and that is a title of a book that I will recommend to all of you to read ‘Democracy in crisis’. It not only in Ghana but in the whole world. In fact, the supposed mother of democracy is also in crisis.
“So can we say that all he did, all he stood for has come to nothing? It depends on how we gathered here to carry on with the battle.”
The lecture was attended by Former President John Dramani Mahama, his vice presidential candidate in last year’s elections, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Director of Elections of the NDC Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority Sylvester Mensah and other stalwarts of the NDC.
Meanwhile, the NDC has complained of being neglected in the organization of the funeral ceremony for their Founder.
Deputy General Secretary of the main opposition party, Peter Boamah Otokunor noted that the ongoing ceremony would have been better organized if the NDC had been involved in the planning by the government.
Mr Otokunor said these in an interview with TV3’s Komla Adom after filing past the remains of Mr Rawlings at the Accra International Conference Centre on Monday, January 25, 2021.
“Some of us are a reflection of what he stood for and so we are in deep sorrow, we are very sad. We think that the nation has lost greatly, some of us have lost very greatly.
“We are inspired and consolation in the fact that Rawlings left us something an unfinished business, an unfinished service to the nation which we have to continue.
“We would have wished to honour Rawlings in a better and greater, more friendly and inclusive way than what we have seen the government lead us to. There are few problems with family and government, and the government deliberately and consciously excluding the NDC, a political party that he founded.”