By Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, Jan. 7, GNA – Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, in his inaugural address as the Speaker of the Eight Parliament of the Fourth Republic, pledged to dutifully serve Parliament and the nation to the best of his ability.
“I will submit myself to the will of this House, to serve my dear country and you faithfully to the best of my ability,” he pledged, after taking his oaths, administered by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, in the chamber of Parliament House, in Osu-Accra, on Thursday, January 7.
He was happy, he said, for all the legislators, including, those who did not vote for him.
The immediate past Second Deputy Speaker of the Seventh Parliament, of the Fourth Republic, is expected to serve until the current Parliament is dissolved on 6th January 2025.
Mr Bagbin, 63, who is the longest serving Member of Parliament – doing 28 years – took the relevant oaths.
As a Catholic, he swore on the crucifix; and was later congratulated by the Chief Justice, and Mr Cyril Oteng Nsiah, the Clerk of Parliament.
The new Speaker, who beat his contender, the Speaker of the Seventh Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, pledged to put, wholeheartedly, the store of knowledge gained over his long service to the House.
A graduate in English and Law, Mr Bagbin, who hails from Sombo, in the Nadowli-Kaleo District in the Upper West Region of Ghana, registered his acceptance of the office of Speaker and thanked God for the great blessing on him and his family for bestowing what he called, “this great responsibility and honour” on him.
He expressed gratitude to the Electoral Commission, civil society organisations, the media, as well as his party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for proposing him to be elected as the Speaker.
He signed the Oath Books, which were also signed by the Chief Justice.
Speaker Bagbin, who was wearing a match of blue coat with a pair of trousers, over a white shirt and a pair of black shoes, was decorated with the Speaker’s gown, with a muffler on which are embossed Ghana’s parliamentary symbols.
Early on, he was welcomed with shouts of “Father, oh Father” by the legislators, especially from the NDC Side, as he was ushered into the Chamber.
Speaker Bagbin was born on September 24, 1957 at Sombo in the Upper West Region and is a graduate from the University of Ghana, where he schooled from 1977 to 1980; and the Ghana School of Law, from 1980 to 1982.
Speaker Bagbin has an Executive Master’s Degree in Governance and Leadership from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
He has held numerous positions in Parliament since 1994, being MP in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh parliaments of the Fourth Republic.
From 1995 to date, Speaker Bagbin has been a member of a group known as Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and member of the International Law and Human Rights Programme of the PGA.
From 1996 to 2001, he was Chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Restructuring of the Water Sector (Ministry of Works and Housing) while between 1997 and 2001, he was a member of the National Media Commission.
In the Second Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Mr Bagbin was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs; and is also a former Majority Leader.
He was once the Minister for Health until February 2013 when Madam Hanny-Sherry Ayittey took over that position.
Mr Bagbin is married to Alice Adjua Yornas Bagbin, a Programme Officer of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Office in Ghana.