Ghana Politics

How I used two-day campaign to beat Oquaye to Speakership – Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has revealed when he was informed of plans to nominate him for the speakership, in an interview that aired on state broadcaster GTV last week.

According to him, the National Democratic Congress informed him on the 5th of January that it had plans to field him as a candidate for the seat that was then occupied by the New Patriotic Party’s Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.

Bagbin at the time was a Second Deputy Speaker of the House and was preparing for life after close to three decades as a Member of Parliament.

The former Nadowli Kaleo MP underlined the fact that his unifying personality meant that he had friends from both sides of the house of the incoming Parliament so he set in motion a campaign to win the seat.

“Two days to the 7th of January, 2021; my beloved NDC party invited me and conveyed to me their decision to contest for the position of Speaker of parliament.

“On the 4th of January 2021, I had gone to bid farewell to my predecessor Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye…I spent all my youthful life in Parliament and I could not at this time reject the offer given me by my party.

“So I accepted and then decided to put my network in place to get MPs on both sides of the political divide, I have friends on both sides, I was lawyer to many MPs and activists of the NPP for many years, therefore I cut across the political divide and I decided to put my campaign on the ground,” he said on the Momeen Tonight show.

He stressed that he was buoyant of his chances from the word go, when he arrived in Parliament on the 7th as an outgoing MP and Speakership aspirant.

He narrated events on the day and spoke about preparing and editing his speeches as the vote went along: “On the 7th, before the election started, a spirit descended on me and I knew I was going to win, how I did not know.

“So it was not a surprise to me that everything that my opponents did to make sure that I didn’t win yielded no fruits. And this cesarean birth brought forth a healthy child to lead the 8th Parliament of the 4th republic of Ghana.”

Retired Bagbin’s rise to Speakership

On January 7, 2021, as the current Parliament convened to elect a speaker, his name popped up as the preferred candidate by the main opposition National Democratic Congress as against the candidature of the then outgoing speaker, Aaron Mike Oquaye, of the governing New Patriotic Party.

After a rancorous voting process which involved shouting and hurling of invectives by Members of Parliament-elect, kicking of voting booths and snatching of ballot papers, not to talk of a military invasion of the chamber, Alban Bagbin was elected speaker.

Whiles the NDC insists he won the vote outright, the NPP said he was a consensus candidate between the two sides of the house. The NPP agreed to play ball because they had a presidential inauguration to attend, which event the Minority had said they will boycott.

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