When history was made on the midnight of 7th January, 2021 with the election of Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin as the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, there were high expectations from the people of Ghana for the Legislative Arm of Government to deliver on its mandate of serving as a check on the Executive and the Judiciary.
Having assumed the enviable role of speaker in the current the venerable Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has not disappointed thus far as he discharges his duties and mandate with a clever, intelligent and clear sense of judgment bringing to bare his legal training and profession as a lawyer as well as his enviable experience of twenty-eight uninterrupted years as a parliamentarian.
As expected of any decision-making process which might draw both agreements and disagreements, the Parliament of Ghana has received its fair share. However, there have been some unique occasions on which the Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament has taken some bold and courageous decisions that have drawn and received the admiration and applause of the masses. Very notable among these instances include but not limited to the following;
1. OPEN ABHORRENCE AND CRITICISM OF LGBTQI+ ACTIVITIES; the strong and critical stance of the Rt Hon Alban Bagbin on the creeping and growing phenomenon of LGBTQI+ is no secret to the public. He has ceased every available opportunity to speak against it and shown an open support for legislation against it. Even at international conferences outside of Ghana, RT Hon Bagbin canvassed for support to criminalize the trend as it is inhuman and should not be tolerated. His courage and conviction to condemn LGBTQI Activities reached epic levels when he took a swipe at the US Vice President Kamala Harris and our own President Nana Akufo-Addo when their joint press conference suggested that Ghana was going to soften its stance on the call for legislation to curb the growing canker of LGBTQI in the country. This spirited response by the Speaker of Parliament has earned him enormous admiration by majority of the people.
2. DIRECTIVE TO GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL TO IMMEDIATELY ADMIT SOME 499 LAW SCHOOL APPLICANTS WHO WERE DENIED ADMISSION; When the General Legal Council released results of the entrance examination into the Ghana School of Law in 2021, as many as four-hundred and ninety-nine students were unjustifiably denied admission under very strange and curious circumstances. These students were compelled to seek all manner of avenues including street protests to have their issues addressed all to no avail. It had to take a directive by the Speaker for the General Legal Council to have the famous 499 students admitted immediately without any further delay. This followed the inability of the Attorney-General and the General Legal Council to convince MR SPEAKER and Parliament on the propriety of their decision.
3. DITCHING OF THE SUIT AND CLOAK FOR EVERYDAY SITTINGS OF PARLIAMENT; Soon upon assuming the seat of speaker of parliament, the Rt Hon Alban Bagbin stole the hearts of Ghanaians when he ditched the wearing of the colonial suit and cloak for Ghanaian and Traditional African apparel safe on special occasions or ceremonies in Parliament. This decision by the Speaker apart from the tourism and marketing potential the Ghanaian and African costume offers to the local producers also sheds off the longstanding colonial mentality accompanying the previous dress code inherited from the colonial administration. This decision by the Speaker has been received with so much applause.
4. CALL FOR THE EXEMPTION OF PENSIONER FUNDS FROM THE DOMESTIC DEBT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME; On the raging and heated matter of the ongoing domestic debt exchange programme, the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance sought to include the funds of pensioners in the programme. This was met with a spirited protest by the pensioners who would have been affected by this unpopular decision. The Rt Hon Speaker of Parliament invited the Minister of Finance to Parliament and proceeded to direct him to exclude the vulnerable pensioners from the programme considering their peculiar circumstances having toiled and sacrificed to contribute to building our nation. On this particular occasion, the Speaker of Parliament received commendations from the public.