On the midnight of 7th January, 2021, Ghanaians and the globe witnessed the miraculous ascension of Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin to the enviable position of Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana. This position makes him the third most important gentleman of the state of Ghana after the President and the Vice President.
Coming up against the Rt. Hon Mike Ocquaye, then incumbent Speaker and the candidate of the President and Party in power, coupled with the fact that the NDC party had a one-member deficit in Parliament, not many people gave Hon Alban Bagbin a dog’s chance in the contest to elect a Speaker. However the Lord Almighty, had set out a plan for this illustrious son of the Upper West Region who by then was the longest serving Member of Parliament in the history of Ghana. This special and divine plan by God came to pass when at the end of proceedings in Parliament, the Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin was duly elected and sworn in as the 7th Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
Under his sterling speakership so far, The Rt. Hon Bagbin has overseen and steered a unique Parliament that has exhibited and espoused the traits of independence with a focus on its oversight over the Executive and the Judiciary. The Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament has not shied away from calling out state institutions and state officials whose conduct and performance are unbecoming and of concern to the general public. The highlight of this effectiveness was the intervention which got some 499 students admitted into the Ghana School of Law after they had earlier on been unjustifiably disqualified.
Again the Rt. Hon Bagbin was on hand to amplify the voice of the Ghanaian society against the creeping menace of LGBTQI+ and the surreptitious attempt and calls for it to be legalized. So far he has demonstrated a commitment to be brave, fair and firm in the discharge of his duties irrespective of whose ox is gored. He is determined to make frantic efforts to positively impact the lives of the Ghanaian people across all facets of society.
On the 28th of September, 2022, the Rt. Hon Speaker was in Wa, the Upper West Regional Capital, to commission and handover the renovated Malik Jabir Sports Stadium to the National Sports Authority. This renovated Stadium which cost over a Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis was solely funded by the Rt. Hon Bagbin. In his own words in his address at the Commissioning Ceremony, the decision to heed to the call to renovate and give the facility a face-lift was to help improve sports infrastructure and to promote and project sports and football in particular in the Upper West Region. The renovated stadium, which serves as the home grounds for the two Division One Clubs in the region, was hitherto declared unfit and hence disqualified from hosting matches in the ongoing National Division One League. This would have placed a huge financial burden on the clubs and put them at a great disadvantage in the quest to bring premier league football to the Upper West Region. As such, this timely intervention by the third Gentleman of the land came as a huge relief to club owners, players and supporters as they can watch their favorite clubs play matches in front of them.
In the quest to improve sports infrastructure, the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament is not renovating dilapidated facilities, he is also partnering the Ghana National Gas Company, to construct an ultramodern facility with an astro-turf pitch at the McCoy College of Education in his home Constituency of Nadowli-Kaleo in the Upper West Region. This facility, unlike the others being solely funded by government agencies, would have ancillary facilities such as modern dressing rooms, washrooms, cafeteria, athletic lanes, Supporters’ Stands, VIP seats, technical booth among others. These extra ancillary facilities are being funded by the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament which runs into millions of Ghana Cedis. This spirited commitment to building a facility such as this is indicative of his vision to afford the region an opportunity to access modern sports facilities to help unearth talents and develop sportsmen and women for the Upper West Region considering the fact that sports is one of the surest ways of developing human capital for national development.
Further to his commitment, the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament has gone a step further to adopt the only professional Division One Women’s Club as its life patron and bankroller. Through his adoption and funding of the team, several vulnerable young ladies have been given an opportunity of a livelihood through their rare footballing talents. This is one surest way of developing the potentials of these young ladies and helping contribute to the human capital development of the Upper West Region in particular. This Club, Sung Shinning Ladies has become a delight to watch in the National Women’s Division One League.
With his drive and energy to serve his people, the Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, is funding educational infrastructure in the Upper West Region and the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency in particular. Currently under construction is a one-storey administration block for the Sombo Senior High School. This facility comes along with all the needed ancillary facilities such as offices, cafeteria, conference room, washrooms among others. There is also a six-unit classroom block on the verge of completion at Kaluri also in Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency. These visible interventions by the Speaker funded from his personal resources and some through lobbying and partnership cannot go unnoticed and unapplauded. To lead is to accept to serve the people one leads. To this end, the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament has excelled. He is making a conscious effort to serve Ghanaians. This article focuses only on the Upper West Region.
He did not hesitate when called upon to help the Wa Naa’s Palace with a Public Address System. He heeded this call without delay when he donated a modern Public Address System to the Wa Naa’s Palace which cost a little over Eighty Thousand Ghana Cedis, according to the technical team that came to install it. This public address system has so far served the public outdoor events of the paramountcy such as the annual Dumba Festival.
Indeed in a little under two years as Speaker, Rt. Hon Bagbin has brought concrete and visible positive difference to the position of Speaker of Parliament of Ghana. So far, Rt. Hon Bagbin, as Speaker has given an indication that he is a statesman who transcends partisanship, religion, ethnicity or creed as he opens up to all manner of people from every facet of the Ghanaian Society. He has been all-embracing and accommodating in spite of the fact that he remains a mainstay of the NDC Party. His fairness and firmness in the discharge of his duties in Parliament has seen him cross paths with the leadership of the NPP as well as the NDC. He is determined to leave a lasting legacy in and out of Parliament and it has been so far so better.
The Upper West Region can only be grateful to God for giving us a son in Alban Bagbin and for propelling him to the enviable position of Speaker of Parliament of Ghana. We are enjoined to close our ranks and rally ourselves to support and to help him as he works so hard to make an impact in the Region. In life, GRATITUDE is a MUST. As such, we can only thank the Rt. Hon Speaker and spur him on as he focuses in doing his best to contribute to uplifting our communities and bringing one form of relief or the other to the people.
- SPEAKER, THANK YOU. In Oliver Twist fashion, we still expect more from your vision and benevolent quest to make an impact.
By: Awudu Ishaq a Youth Activist