Bagbin Grabs Loverboy, Backs Free SHS
Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, Ghana’s longest serving Member of Parliament, has grabbed unto himself the pet name, “Loverboy” as he laces boots to contest the presidential primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), whether or not former President John Mahama intends to stage a comeback as president.
“I see myself as the Loverboy of this country and I think that I can win not just the party’s presidential primaries but even the presidency of this country. Yes, I believe I have that national appeal. And internationally, wherever I have had the opportunity of representing our country, whether it is by grace or by destiny, I have been given the opportunity to lead,” a confident sounding Bagbin told Kwame Nkrumah Tikese on Okay FM’s morning show Tuesday morning.
“It is common knowledge that from Gold Coast to Ghana, I am the only person that has been in parliament for continuous years and at the end of this term, I would be 28 years in parliament and most of it in leadership position and I have learnt the ropes and I have read copiously from both sides of the political divide and I think I have enough capital, leadership capital to lead this nation. I don’t think that I should deny Ghanaian this opportunity. That is why in spite of my financial challenge, I still want to offer myself”, the 60-year old Bagbin noted.
He said so far, former President John Mahama has personally not expressed any interest whatsoever in serving as president of Ghana again and that even if Mr. Mahama ever expresses such an interest, the two of them would have to slug it out boot for boot at the NDC primaries.
Bagbin explained: “You can be sure that I would have to contest him. For no other reason other than the fact that I think I could better lead the people and our nation than him. That is all. He has had the opportunity and he can attest to the fact that I was a very big pillar in supporting him to get that opportunity and to assume the reigns of our country. Throughout, in spite of my critical words on some of his decisions and leadership style, I kept supporting him until he lost the election. I believe that observing his performance and observing what Nana Akufo Addo is doing and learning the lessons of the past, I think, I am adequately prepared enough to go for that position.”
CRITICIZE TO BUILD
When Kwame Nkrumah Tikese asked Bagbin whether some of his criticisms contributed to the defeat of the NDC in the 2016 polls, the legislator said the Kwesi Botchwey Committee tasked to find out why the NDC lost, did not come out with any such findings to back that assertion.
“No, I think my criticisms led to him (John Mahama) having a second look at his performance and improving on a number of issues, actions and policies and that improved upon his governance and I don’t agree with those who think that my criticisms of his performance was what led to his loss. In fact, it has not been unearth anywhere.
If you go through the Kwesi Botchway Committee report, you would not find that anywhere… I criticize to improve, I don’t criticize to destroy. I was compelled to come out to make those statements because of the reaction of Stan when I was interviewed on issued on the issue of corruption.”
Bagbin applauded the Nana Akufo-Addo led government for commencing the free SHS policy, though he said the takeoff of the policy suffered some challenges:
He said: “The bold decision to go on with the free senior high school policy; that is a bold decision in spite of the challenges, they still decided to push It on. And you know the effects on the ground. The large numbers of Ghanaians that were struggling to pay school fees are relieved. And that is something we can commend government on even though it does not prevent us from drawing government’s attention to the issue of availability and the colossal loss the country would make as a result of jumping the gun. When you bite more than you can chew, you know how you struggle to chew it in your mouth. There is nothing wrong with being gradual.”
Loverboy Bagbin also criticized the Nana Addo government over the handling of the economy and some internal security related challenges with particular reference to a pro NPP group known as the “Invincible Forces.”
Bagbin spoke about President Akufo-Addo: “I have known Nana Addo from 1983 as a young practitioner and he is very, very far my senior at the bar and in that respect, he has a higher platform than me. He met me in Parliament in 1997 and together we led the constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs committee from 1997 to 2000. I was in parliament from January 1993 and he came to Parliament in January 1997.
So, I was there before him. I was four years ahead of him but he came with a lot of experience, knowledge…
“Having contested the presidential slot for three good times together with his party’s primaries, I think the last contest in 2015, he might have given a bit of his bite to his party and therefore since he took over, he has not been in the one that I have known and therefore he has not been in control of his party and government”, Bagbin opined.
Source: The Publisher