Hon. Emmanuel Kwesi Bedzrah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho West Constituency, has called on parliament to consider naming any edifice, such as the Parliament research library, after the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr. Alban Bagbin, for his 25 years of dedicated service to the Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
According to Mr. Bedzrah, the notion of always immortalising the only dead should be demystified in the instance case, as Bagbin has played a significant role in the enrichment of the fourth republic parliament and should be immortalised while he is alive.
The Ho West MP made these remarks in an interview with The Republic, after he had delivered a statement on the floor of parliament last Wednesday to mark Mr. Bagbin’s 25 years in parliament and his 60th birthday.
While describing him as a consummate politician and an astute legislator who has contributed to the enhancement of Ghana’s parliamentary democracy, the Ho West lawmaker wants parliament to build a second chamber and name it “Bagbin Chamber.”
He added that, if for nothing at all, Hon. Bagbin has served the nation for winning the Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency seat for seven consecutive terms and has also served in various capacities, including Majority Leader and Minority Leader in parliament.
“As we speak, we have D.F. Annan Hall, we have Peter Ala Adjetey Hall, so even if we cannot build the second chamber and name it after Bagbin, something symbolic as a reminder of him, and I think the Parliament Research Library could be named after him, let’s call it,” Bagbin Research Library,” Mr. Bedzrah told this paper, while eulogising the Nadowli/Kaleo longest-serving lawmaker.
For him, the establishment of a symbolic item for the longest-serving legislator within the august House to serve as a reminder of his contribution to the business of Parliament and the deepening of democracy in the country will serve as an encouragement to others.
Mr. Bedzrah explained that the reason for the proposal was borne out of the fact that Hon. Bagbin, who is also celebrating his 60th birthday, has spent 25 years of that age serving the good people of Ghana in parliament.
He said Hon. Bagbin has indeed helped in strengthening our democracy, having mentored several of the legislators, including the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, and several others.
Mr. Bagbin has been the MP for Nadowli Kaleo since the beginning of the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic in 1993.
Hon. Bedzrah set the tone for the eulogisation when he presented a statement on Mr. Bagbin’s 25th anniversary in Parliament and his 60th birthday.
He said the manner in which Mr Bagbin has been able to maintain his seat for seven consecutive terms and the able manner he assisted the work of Parliament in the last 25 years deserved commendation.
He proposed the establishment of a Second Chamber, as suggested in other quarters, for the House to retain and benefit from the institutional memory of Mr. Bagbin and other old and experienced MPs.
The Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, said it was Mr. Bagbin who encouraged him to contest the parliamentary seat in his constituency, Asawase in the Ashanti Region.
He said he held Mr. Bagbin and Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in high esteem, because of the guidance they gave him in Parliament.
Alhaji Muntaka urged MPs to rise above excessive partisanship by protecting their own at all cost.
He also called for a way to address the politics of patronage, where constituents depended on their MPs for school fees, jobs and financial support for marriages.
The Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said oftentimes when “we (MPs) run into turbulence, we turn to Bagbin.”
He said Mr. Bagbin entered Parliament as a back bencher but rose through the ranks to become a chairman of a committee, a Minority Leader and a Majority Leader, stressing “he acquitted himself creditably.”
According to him, Mr. Bagbin did well when it came to legislation, exercising his oversight functions, institutional memory, and the rules of procedure, and added that “he enriched the debate in the House.”
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu decried the attrition rate in Parliament and called for a system to ensure the retention of experienced MPs, “since the work in Parliament required a lot of experience in parliamentary work.”
For instance, he said, half of the 106 Minority MPs in the current Parliament were new members, while 87 of the 169 on the Majority side were freshmen.
The MP for Nalerigu/Gambaga and Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, commended Mr. Bagbin for his long dedicated service, and indicated that she continued to get guidance from him.
The MP for Wa Central, Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, suggested that something symbolic about Mr. Bagbin be mounted “to tell the rest of the world that when you are given the opportunity to serve people, it is not for material gains, but to serve the nation.”
The First Deputy Minority Whip, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, proposed that persons with the rich experience of Mr. Bagbin be made to teach at the Parliamentary Training Institute to give a practical touch to the training.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba