On his second day in the Northern Region, the Rt. Hon. Speaker A.S.K. Bagbin visited His Majesty, Ndan Yaa Naa Abukari at Yendi.
In his opening remarks, the Yaa Naa congratulated him on becoming Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament. He claimed that the fact that he was elected demonstrates how fully the nation has accepted democracy as a form of government. “You have so far demonstrated that your appointment was made purely on merit,” he remarked. Your objectivity and fairness on the House floor have really impressed me.
He continued by saying that the Speaker’s visit shows his willingness and recognition of the traditional authorities as significant players in the nation’s governance system, and that the Dagbon chiefs are prepared to work with him to ensure that he leaves a positive impression on the Ghanaian Parliament.
He bemoaned the fact that, despite having vast amounts of arable land, the northern part of Ghana is far behind the southern part in terms of development and pleaded with Mr. Speaker to see that legislation aimed at reducing poverty and boosting the north’s economy is passed in order to provide opportunities for the young people and close the economic divide between the north and the south.
In his reply, the Rt. Hon. Speaker urged for world peace to foster the conditions necessary for the north’s necessary growth. Therefore, he urged letting go of the opposition to development and viewing poverty as a common foe. Politics, he said, is not intended to separate us but to bring us together.
The Speaker will set the tone for a national discussion on the possibility of creating a pathway for chiefs, religious leaders, and Civil Society Organizations to play active politics in order to contribute to the country’s development because he sees traditional leaders as partners in development and disagrees with the provisions in the 1992 constitution that prohibit chiefs from taking part in active partisan politics.
He advised the youth on the need to build their capacity in order to take advantage of the opportunities that will be created.
Mr. Speaker informed the Yaa Naa of the 30th-anniversary celebrations of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy under the fourth republic and invited him to grace the public forum on Friday,16th June 2023 at the University for Development Studies, Tamale. The forum seeks to take stock of Parliament’s achievements, challenges, opportunities and the way forward.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker takes his next visit on Wednesday to Damango, where he will be paying a courtesy call on the Yagbonwura.