OPENING REMARKS BY THE RT. HON. ALBAN SUMANA KINGSFORD BAGBIN, SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, AT THE FIRST MEETING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE 8TH PARLIAMENT OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC OF GHANA DELIVERED ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7 2023
Hon Members, it is always a pleasure to welcome you back to plenary sessions from recess. You recall Parliament adjourned sine die from plenary sessions on the 22nd of December, 2022 and receded to perform its functions in a more direct, pluralistic and practical manner.
I saw, I read and I witnessed the state of the country’s democratic development as you engaged with your constituents across the country. You re-connected as well as established strong bonds and warm relations with your constituents and the public during the Yuletide and New Year season. Your impact has given a boost to the democratic credentials of the country.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you for a good job done: congratulations!
Before I proceed further, let me recognize the new leadership of the Minority Caucus in Parliament. I was formally informed of the reshuffle of the leadership by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Hon Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey by a letter dated 23rd January, 2023.
The new leaders are:
Minority Leader: Hon Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson
Deputy Minority Leader: Hon Kofi Armah Buah
Minority Whip: Hon Kwame Agbodza
First Deputy Whip: Hon Ahmed Ibrahim
Second Deputy Whip: Hon Comfort Doyoe Ghansah.
The new leaders have all been in this House for a while and are very conversant with the culture and law of parliament. I have confidence in their ability to meet the high expectations of our stakeholders. On behalf of the House, and on my part, I warmly welcome them to the hot seats of the leadership of Parliament. Congratulations. I wish you well.
The former members of the leadership, led by Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, must be applauded too. Their record of performance is visible for all to see and I hope the new leadership will continue to draw from their fountain of wisdom, trove of wealth and experience. I know what it entails, as a veteran of this journey and experience, to lead a populous Minority Caucus in Parliament.
All I can say to the former leaders is, the Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want. When one door closes, many doors open; and I tell you for sure, that many of the open doors are better and higher than the closed door. Look at the opened doors and not the closed one. With these opening remarks, I welcome all of you, once more.
This sitting at a glance during this sitting, the House has 61 bills to consider;
Forty-nine instruments would be presented;
There are 230 papers to be presented to the House;
There will be 827 questions, both normal and urgent;
Additionally, there will be 34 Private Members’ Motions and 3 petitions before the House. It will be a busy sitting indeed.
Hon Members, we definitely have a lot on our plates for this sitting. There are urgent issues that require resolution, most of which are as a result of the state of our economy and the social issues arising therefrom. The electorates are looking up to us to help find solutions to these existential issues. If there is a time that we as Members of Parliament ought to set aside our partisan cloaks and think Ghana, it is now. I am confident that with the Almighty God on our side, we will, together, ride the current storm.
Let me at this juncture on behalf of the Parliament of Ghana, add my prayers to the many supplications being made on behalf of our former Black Stars player, Christian Atsu, who we are told has been pulled from the rubble of the earthquake that ravaged parts of Turkey and Syria yesterday. We wish him a speedy recovery.
I thank you for your attention.