It Was A Private Conversation…Don’t Confuse Lobbying With Bribery – Bagbin
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo, Alban S.K. Bagbin, has strongly denied saying that some MPs take bribes to articulate the views of some individuals and organisations on the floor of Parliament.
The NDC MP insists he never made such any assertion that organisations have to grease MP’s palms before a deal is sealed.
“One of the members asked me something they have discussed before I got there that some of their members said they had to bribe members of parliament to get them to do their work and that the members (MPs) told them (organisations) that if they don’t do that they will not do their work so they wanted to know from me whether members of parliament receive bribe before they do their work.
“…My answer was that, members of parliament are also Ghanaians. So if you say Ghanaians are corrupt, then I cannot say members of parliament are not. All over the world there is what we call lobbying…where you lobby parliament to do business. But there are rules in lobbying but we have not developed that in Ghana yet. People confuse lobbying with bribery. This is all what I said…how can this be termed as Hon. Bagbin said MPs take bribe to do their work?” he questioned.
The Nadowli/Kaleo MP, who was speaking at a two-day seminar in Koforidua to representatives of 40 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which had sought to influence policy by having laws passed or amended, was reported by Daily Graphic to have said, “The reality is that MPs are Ghanaians and there is evidence that some MPs take bribes and come to the floor and try to articulate the views of their sponsors”.
Adding that, “This is because in Ghana we have not developed what we call lobbying. There are rules; there are ethics regarding lobbying and we in Ghana think that lobbying is taking money, giving it to MPs and writing pieces for them to go articulate on the floor. That is bribery.”
But in an interview with Peace FM’s Kokrokoo host, Kwami Sefa Kayi (Chairman General), Mr. Bagbin opined that, “It’s really sad. If this is how we want to go as nation, then we are not interested in development. As a member of parliament, i will take some of the blame because we have not been able to pass the Right to Information Bill and so the perimeters are not too clear for the media. The media should know what is important for development and what destroys the society. This is not fair at all. Even in that room (Seminar hall), there was no reporter from Graphic.”
He accused the state media of taking his comments out of context, claiming that, “they (Daily Graphic) have added things to it and put the quotation as mine. I am really sad; this is not what I was expecting from the media”.