…As Nigeria’s Kogi State House of Assembly taps knowledge from Ghana’s Parliament
Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, has called on African peers to embrace a new form of leadership, one that is suited to take the continent into the next phase of its development.
According to him, the era where leaders in Africa stick to their jurisdictional matters were over and that sharing experience with others was the best to move the continent forward.
The Speaker made the observation when his counterpart from Kogi State House of Assembly of Nigeria paid a courtesy call on him in Accra yesterday.
The 31-member delegation from the Kogi State House of Assembly, including both majority and minority leaders, led by their Speaker, Rt-Hon. Umar Ahmed Imam, are in the country for a week’s retreat and to also learn from its Ghana’s counterparts on the country’s vibrant democratic process.
Receiving members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Prof. Oquaye said Ghana and Nigeria have played a front role in African leadership and that it has reached a stage where the continent requires transformational leaders to address the key challenges facing the populace.
He commended the delegation for the foresight to seek experience from Ghana’s parliament while on retreat in the country, stating that, it would further cement the brotherly relations between the two countries and expressed the hope it would continue.
The Speaker noted that, though Ghana’s parliament, as an institution, has its own challenges, it remains committed to the democratic process and assured the Kogi State House of Assembly of Ghana’s readiness to share experience so as to help improve the democracy on the continent, especially in the West African sub-region.
On his part, Mr. Umar Ahmed Imam said they carefully chose Ghana for their retreat because Ghana has proved beyond doubt to be the beacon of Africa’s democracy and there is much to be learnt during their few days in Ghana.
He said though democracy is expensive governance process, it remains the best way for Africa and that what was needed for now is ability to produce good leaders who would shy away from corruption.
Mr. Ahmed Imam lauded Ghana for its frontal role in Pan-African development, which dates back to the era of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first President of Ghana, and said what was of paramount for present generational leaders is to share and tap knowledge and experience from Ghana.
The Kogi State House of Assembly Speaker also expressed concern about corruption, stating, “Africa’s democracy is evolving but corruption and lack of good governance on the continent is intimidating the process.”
He expressed gratitude to the people of Ghana for the warm hospitality and hoped the relationship between the two countries which dates back to decades would further deepen.
The Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, expressed their respective willingness to share parliamentary experience with other nations of Africa so as to develop the continent.
According to Mr. Iddrissu, Ghana’s democracy is unique, because, even though the two dominant political parties do have some differences, they do so on principles and that what was needed most was to seek common ground for common purpose.
He assured that there was no way the minority in parliament will take stance against issues, like corruption and decentralization, which are of national interest.
Mr. Kyei Mensah Bonsu, on his part, stated that Ghana has come a long way and that parliamentary work is no longer partisan, but for national unity, adding Ghana does not have extremist political parties, like other African nations.
He said, parliament remains the pillar of democracy in any nation, for it is the only institution that determines good governance and urged that the two nations to continue to live as brothers and share experience in order to move the continent forward in development.