The Right Honourable Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin the Speaker of Ghana’s 8th parliament has embarked on thank given service to the people of his hometown Sombo and his Constituency Nandowli Kaleo.
Speaking at a gathering in his birth land Sombo in the Nandowli Kaleo Constituency in the Upper East Region, he said, words alone can not express his profound gratitude to the Members of Parliament, his people, family, especially his wife the support showed him throughout his political career.
Below is the statement of speaker Alban Bagbin
The Leadership and Honourable Members of Parliament, Members of the ClergyTraditional, leaders here present, Representatives of the National and Regional Executives of the NDCStaff of the Parliamentary Service, Distinguished Invited Guests, Our partners from the media ladies and Gentlemen! Let me take this opportunity to extend to you, especially my fellow Christians, belated Easter greetings. A few days back, we marked the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I trust the risen Christ has brought you and your families abundant happiness.
I also believe that you shared the wonderful holidays of Easter with your loving family and friends. Let us rejoice and praise Jesus Christ together for the renaissance that his death and resurrection offers us all.
As we are told in 1 Peter 1:3: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Let us take advantage of this new birth that the Easter season comes with and let us look up to the future with clean hearts and a renewed commitment to do God’s will.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, I extend a warm welcome to all who have travelled from far and near for this occasion and request you to join me and my family in raising our voices in honour and praise to the Almighty God for bestowing such honour and responsibility upon me to lead the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
As David, the King and Leader of Israel wondered aloud to God in 2 Samuel 7:18, “Who Am I, O Lord God and what is my house, that you should bring me this far?” My house, the land of my birth is here in Sombo in the Upper West Region. It is from here that the Lord called me to devote my life in service to my people.
I responded to that call and for almost three decades plus, I have been a servant of my people. The Lord has expanded the remit of my service to mankind to include the entire country, and for that I am grateful.
This is the reason why I deemed it fit and proper to come home to give thanks and praises to my creator and my people, on whose vote of confidence I rode to be where I am today, and for the favours and the bountiful blessings, I have always received. On a day-to-day basis, we continue to live under the benevolence of Almighty God. He persists in showering us with bounteous blessings, extending His mercies to us and granting us our heart desires. Even in times that are challenging, we continue to thank Him.
Today is one of those days that Psalm95:1-3 refers to in the verses: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods”.The events of the early hours of January 7 2021, which culminated in that historic election that made me the Speaker of the House of Parliament of Ghana are incredible indeed.
Words alone cannot express the depth of gratitude I owe to the Lord, the Members of Parliament, my family and all those who contributed to the historic feat. I sincerely recognize and acknowledge the hand of God in my political life that spans 1992 through to the present, guiding every step of my political journey.
I consider it most fitting to dedicate a day for celebration and devotion to the Lord in acknowledgement of His continuous favour, just as Psalm 145:6-8 says: “Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and merciful”.My brothers and sisters in Christ, when the Almighty God showers such blessings on you, the natural reaction is one of supplication in appreciation of the fact that the Lord had looked with favour upon you. I consider the Lord’s choice of me at this time, not just as a favour, but as an assignment. In Exodus 3:10.12, the Lord told Moses: “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”I am persuaded that God has a design for the people of this country. The events of the recent elections and their outcome give me that indication. First, he gave us a hung parliament – 137 Members of Parliament for the NDC and the same for the NPP.
Then for the first time in the history of this country, he chose a Speaker of Parliament who is neither a member of the majority nor the ruling government. As he requested of Moses, I see in this development a desire by the Almighty for greater harmonization in our politics, a lot more collaboration and an elevated check on the government in the interest of the people of Ghana.
The Lord wants Parliament to defend the interest of Ghanaians a lot more and to strengthen institutions, not individuals, hence the outcome of the recent elections and my surprise emergence as Speaker of Parliament at this time. Clearly then, whilst my elevation is a privilege and an honour, it comes with a huge responsibility – a responsibility to maintain and improve the checks and balances between the Executive and the Legislature and hold the government accountable for its decisions and actions.
There is also the responsibility, given the peculiarity of the current deployment of numbers in the House, to maintain a balance between political party interests and that of the country.
This will come with all kinds of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, at times, as you might have noticed already.
All I will say for now is to refer you to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a French critique, and say “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” The lesson here is that we tend to look at things differently depending on our context and personal situations. The story is told of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin having a meeting in a 20-storey building.
During a break, the two leaders made a bet about the loyalty of their guards. First, Putin called his guard Ivan into the room, opened the window and said, “Ivan, jump down.” Ivan replied in tears, “Mr.
President, how could you do this to me? I have a wife and a son.” Putin explained that he was only joking and let Ivan out.
Then Kim Jong-Un called his guard Lee and told him to jump. Lee started running toward the window in preparation to jump out.
Putin grabbed him and said, “Are you crazy? You will die if you jump!” Struggling, Lee replied, “Let me go! I have a wife and a son”! So, you see how Ivan and Lee see their wife and son from two completely different perspectives? One wants long life and the other will prefer to die immediately because of them.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, we all have our peculiar and time-tested ways of expressing our innermost emotions, be it joy or sadness.
Our relationship with our God as Christians and the responsibilities and expectations that govern that relationship makes thanksgiving one of the most frequently used means of communicating with our Father in Heaven.
Consistency in our manifestation of gratitude helps. Remember, gratitude is not just by word of mouth; indeed, gratitude is energy, medicinal and a statement. It is spiritual and emotional sustenance.
That is why President John F. Kennedy said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”.I, together with the leadership of Parliament, being aware of the aspirations and expectations of the people of Ghana with respect to political conduct and governance. I am conscious of the dictates of the current and emerging issues that leaders must find solutions to on behalf of the citizenry.
Problems of inequality, a raging health pandemic that has become the new normal, the state of deprivation, instability in the sub-region, global problems of isolationism, civil strife, discrimination, migration challenges among others, continue to confront us all as a people.
I can assure you that the Parliament of Ghana, under my leadership, will not shirk its responsibility when it comes to these issues. What we will want from all Ghanaians are patience and understanding.
Criticism is good, so feel free to criticise when the need arises, but do so by first seeking to understand the issues at stake and the developments in relation to them. This is because what meets the eye is not always what the real issue is.
I am confident of the support of all Ghanaians as we journey along on this unchartered path that the current Parliament of Ghana represents. I am convinced that success will attend our efforts.
For now, let me end on a quote from Maya Angelou the poet and say “let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
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