Opinion: Alban Bagbin Must Step in and School Alhassan Suhuyini – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin

Ordinarily, parliamentary protocol and the caliber of people representing some particular parts of the country would not be my lookout or fixation. For there are too many problems plaguing the country for me to worry about a couple of rude and rambunctious urchins in our National Assembly. Presently, perhaps the seemingly intractable problem of Galamsey or rampant and rapacious degradation of the environment appears to be the most significant national issue requiring prompt and radical redressing. It is an existential menace that is closely tied up with the unacceptably high rate of unemployment among the nation’s youths. I shall in due course be taking up this most fundamental of problems facing Ghanaian society.

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I still have yet to fully learn the details of the event or events that led to the chaotic situation in the august House on Thursday, March 30, that reportedly nearly ended in the bestial exchange of blows between some members of the ruling New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary majority and their minority counterparts of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). I hope to home in on this issue shortly, once I have been able to intelligibly assemble all the pieces of this bizarre but not wholly unpredictable incident. One thing, however, is quite clear – and it is the fact that the sore-loser National Democratic Congress’ operatives appear to be too traumatized over their massive defeat at the 2016 general election to think straight, as it were, and conduct themselves responsibly.

Unfortunately, rather than quickly rally and do what most loyal opposition leaders do in many an advanced civilized democracy, the NDC apparatchiks appear to be hell-bent on disrupting the smooth-running of government and the legislature. There is absolutely no room for the use of the sort of indecorous language that has been widely attributed to Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, the Minister of Education who also doubles as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Manhyia-South Constituency. Dr. Opoku-Prempeh has been in Parliament for quite a considerable while and ought to know quite a bit about the common cultural expression of “Noblesse Oblige” or Nobility Obliges. Any parliamentary representative may be intemperately described as anything but “mad.”

We may not all of us want to believe this, but there are absolutely no clinically certified lunatics in our august House of representatives. In one media piece, for example, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the NPP-MP for Ablekuma-West and the substantive Communications Minister, was quoted as having described the Tamale-North NDC-MP as a “slave”! What caliber of parliamentarian or even a cabinet appointee uses this kind of spiritually and psychologically blistering language? I strongly believe President Akufo-Addo ought to say something to Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful and do so promptly and publicly. The NPP leadership ought to demonstrate that it holds itself to higher moral standards than its main NDC counterpart.

But what amused me to no mean extent, though, is the fact that not very long ago, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful teamed up with some NDC rabble-rousers to publicly demonstrate against Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, President Akufo-Addo’s Senior Minister, because the former Finance and Sports Minister had been accused of criticizing the Mahama regime for being inordinately packed with ethnic minorities whose parts of the country did not significantly contribute much to the wealth or economic development of the country. And so what does it make a person who smugly and self-righteously embark on public demonstrations with “slaves” against one of the most prominent and influential members of her own political part? Vis-à-vis the insufferable rudeness of the Tamale-North NDC-MP, I do not have any more to say than has already been reportedly said by Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Elections Director of the National Democratic Congress (See “Ofosu-Ampofo Counsels Suhuyini on Parliamentary Hierarchy” Daily Guide / Modernghana.com 4/5/17).

The man who staunchly backed Mr. Mahama Ayariga in the latter’s concoction of his bribery allegation against the leaders of the Parliamentary Appointments Committee (PAC) must first learn to crawl before he begins to walk. The fact that a father and his son boarded the same bus on the same day and at the same time does not absolutely in any way make the son the co-equal of his father. Mr. Suhuyini must also learn to wash his hands properly, if he wants to be allowed to dip his fingers into the same dinner bowl as his parliamentary superiors. Yes, there are seniors and juniors in the august House. Superiors and inferiors, whether Mr. Suhuyini likes it or not.

Mr. Alban S. K. Bagbin, the longest-serving Ghanaian parliamentarian, is being herein pleaded with to kindly step in, take the Tamale greenhorn MP by the hand and aside and teach Mr. Suhuyini a lesson or two in both civility and parliamentary protocol. Mr. Bagbin probably has the rare privilege of being northern born, like Mr. Suhuyini, and thus apt to be reckoned as the most suitable role model for the former talk-radio host.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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