Alban Bagbin says his position as Speaker of the 8th Parliament came as a surprise to many as he stood against his one-time lecturer, Prof Mike Oquaye.
Paying a courtesy visit to the traditional and religious leaders in his hometown in the Waala Traditional Area of the Upper West Region, he indicated that being elected Speaker with about a two-vote margin was the doing of the Lord.
“I’m am sure it was shocking to many including you my younger brother the regional minister that a member of the opposition could win the position of Speaker in the presence of the majority even though the majority now is a hung Parliament. People never though that could happen. It was the belief that my lecturer Prof Mike Oquaye, the right Honorable Speaker would have automatically won because his presidential candidate had won the elections.”
For him, the prayers of his family, friends and community members helped him reach a goal many thought was unachievable.
Mr Bagbin reiterated the need for both divides in the House to work together, focus on national development and make partisan politics a thing of the past. This decision to fight for unity he says was the reason he was elected over his contender, former Speaker Mike Oquaye.
“But God has a different plan for Ghana – A plan for us to coalesce to work together, to be able to agree to disagree in peace and in harmony and to be able to develop Ghana as our God given gift and so I couldn’t have gone that far without the support and prayers and the good will of my people at home,” he said.
Although the Speaker held a thanksgiving service at Accra after the elections, he noted that “the proper thing is to come home and with my people, thank the Almighty God” for his victory.
Upper West Region Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih who received the Speaker on behalf of the traditional leaders at the regional coordinating council congratulated Mr Bagbin on his position calling him “a man who has been able to serve his people for 28 years and did that to perfection.”
He revealed that the virtues of peace, unity embodied by the Speaker should be emulated to ensure development is brought to the region.
“As a people, we have to come together to bring development to our region. We need to unite, the days where we used to have Waala, Dagari, Sisala is long gone. We are one people and we must have an agenda and that agenda is for the development of our region,” he stated.