While the rank and file leadership of the National Democratic Congress continue to rejoice over their gains which they have capped with the appointment of Alban Bagbin as Speaker of Parliament, after garnering substantial number of seats in the legislature, it is turning out that the party may be temporary.
There are numerous reasons behind this analysis. First is that Alban Bagbin not only deserves the deal because he is tried and competent, but because he is independent thinking and sticks to legislative details – rather than the politics that divides both Ghana and the legislature.
As the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pointed out, Bagbin has engagement, negotiation and consensus-building skills which has benefited the House and Ghana since his several stints at the legislature. The President made that statement on account of his relationship with Bagbin as a former legislator himself.
Granted that the huge level of what many Ghanaians considered insanity on the part of the honourables over seating arrangements was part of the tradition in the House, the days ahead and hurdles before the legislature is not one in which any decent member of the House would risk toying with his or her responsibilities. That is if that MP is serious about staying long in the House.
Indeed, in the light of the evidence of colleagues and contemporaries having to miss the 2012 Parliament through perceived non-performance, the average MP singing Mahama’s lurid tunes in Parliament, instead of Ghana’s anthem, may not survive 2024.
Indeed, while joining the crowd may be refreshing as newcomer MPs, the spectre of them having to account to constituents – whether these are illegal miners or sophisticated voters in Ayawaso West Wuogon – looms. And this is not funny, as we have just come to experience.
Worse still is the situation where MPs would attempt to hold back the work of the House because they stand to profit from such act, though they know that the House operates on consensus over the rules and not merely NPP/NDC empty jaw-jaw.
It is also important to stress that, because the system also operates with timelines in view, any unnecessary delay which has political undertones is well likely to be exposed by the media and civil society. Particularly for a party [NDC], which appear to have lost the support of civil society, playing games on the strength of their numbers will be suicidal into the next elections.
The hugest loss to the NDC by Bagbin’s appointment is the fact that it will be no longer attractive on the part of the NDC to send their madding crowd and hooligan elements onto the streets. Indeed, they themselves and their leadership in the House will no longer have clout to do anything silly, like walking in protest to the offices of the Electoral Commission, when they know that the platform for dealing with such cases is the law courts.
Isn’t it exciting therefore that, sometimes in life, the Cat is saddled with the responsibility of protecting fish in the family kitchen just so that any complaints about stolen fish would be stemmed before it took root?
Thank you, John Mahama; thank you, Asiedu Nketia and thank you, Sammy Gyamfi. Ghana will continue to be peaceful and prosperous, Insha Allahu.