Politics of Monday, 22 October 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Has Bagbin Served For Too Long As MP?

“He has served for too long; he is blocking the chances of the youth from taking up that position”, this is the common saying in the Nadowli West constituency, apparently referring to the member of parliament for the area, Mr Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin. Mr Bagbin has since 1993 been the Member of Parliament for Nadowli West and this has become a bone of contention within his own camp and between some of his supporters and his opponents.

People like Mr Issahaque Dapilah who was the NDC chairman for the constituency had to resign his position to contest as an independent candidate in the 2000 elections but failed in his bid to unseat Mr Bagbin.

Again in 2004, Dr Daniel Baga, now the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Law and Business Studies (FELBS) at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), had to leave the NDC to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) where he became their parliamentary candidate but he also failed to push out the incumbent MP.

Then came the primaries for aspiring MP’s for the 2012 parliamentary election and Mr Roger Gaale, then administrator of the Wa Regional Hospital but now on transfer to the Volta Region, who declared his intentions to challenge Mr Bagbin, was disqualified through alleged machinations by Mr Bagbin after a protracted contest about the eligibility of Mr Gaale to contest the primaries.

There is also the accusations that Mr Bagbin takes credit for almost all projects undertaken in the constituency and the district and the question being asked is what the role of the Nadowli District Assembly is and what it uses its share of the District Assemblies Common Fund and other resources for..

All these, coupled with the belief that Mr Bagbin has kept too long, has necessitated a group calling itself “Stand Up for Bagbin, to hold a press conference to outline what it describes as the achievements of Mr Bagbin as the Member of Parliament for Nadowli West.

Addressing the media at Kaleo, the Organiser of the group, Miss Florence Kpan, said Mr Bagbin had chalked up a number of achievements in his service to the people who had empowered him to represent their interests in Parliament and governance.

She said apart from single-handedly putting Nadowli West on the political map of Ghana, span broad areas like education, health, water, roads, agriculture and electricity.

She said the MP through non-governmental organisations had supported the Kaleo Senior High and Technical School and the Queen of Peace Senior High School in Nadowli in various forms in addition to giving support to students to further their education both in Ghana and abroad and financing the activities of the Nadowli District Students Union (NADSU).

Miss Kpan said most of the feeder roads in the district had all been reconstructed and these include Samatigu, Loho Junction, Serekpere–Goli–Nato–Takpo, among others.

On water, she said 61 boreholes had been sunk across the constituency in the past three years alone.

“As a sector minister, Mr Bagbin initiated the 22 million euro water project in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region. The list is endless and includes his initiation of the US$55 million Black Volta Water Intake Plant which will provide potable water to many communities along the transmission line to Wa,” she added.

She cited a number of health projects that Mr Bagbin had initiated and completed and therefore warned that any attempts to replace him will be detrimental if not suicidal to the development of the constituency and district at large.

Miss Kpan, therefore, called on the people of the constituency to put aside “all the flawed impressions created and vote massively for Mr Bagbin on December 7, 2012.

Mr Bagbin was born on September 24, 1957 and comes from Sombo in the Nadowli District in the Upper West Region. He had his Ordinarily and Advanced Level Certificate at the Tamale Secondary School before proceeding to the University of Ghana between 1977 and 1980 and later the Ghana School of Law from 1980 to 1982. He was elected Member of Parliament in 1992 and has held various positions in Parliament with the ultimate being the Majority Leader. He was later made Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and is now the Minister of Health.