MPs Slam Protocol

Alban BagbinMEMBERS OF Parliament (MPs) have criticized the State Protocol for poor organization of the swearing-in of President John Evans Atta Mills and his Vice, John Dramani Mahama at the Independence Square last Wednesday.

Member after Member expressed disappointment about the near-chaotic nature of the event, which left the Honourable Members of the Legislature, who were supposed to be the custodians of the programme, stranded such that they could not even observe the happenings of the day.

The swearing-in of the two most important persons of Ghana, which was supposed to have taken place on the Floor of Parliament, had to be moved to the Independence Square because of lack of space to accommodate all dignitaries for the occasion.

The Majority Leader, Alban S. K. Bagbin expressed misgivings about the event. “Madam Speaker, I will be failing in my duty if I do not express serious concern about the manner in which the inaugural ceremony was organized. We have witnessed difficult and suffocating inaugural ceremonies in this country. But to put it mildly, this inaugural ceremony went over the imagination of everybody,” the Majority Leader posited.

“The crowd overrun the security and turned the parliamentary sitting into a nationally political rally. As a Majority Leader, I saw neither the arrival nor departure of any dignitary including His Excellency and Madam Speaker. I heard no word from you Madam Speaker, the President and the Vice President,” he added.

According to Hon. Bagbin who is also the MP for Nadowli West, MPs were subjected to a scene of a struggle between the security personnel and the “perambulating members of the public particularly the prying and gregarious teaming media ladies and gentlemen”.

The Majority Leader stated that the MPs’ views were blocked by both the local and foreign media personnel who had clustered in a group between the actions spot, where Madam Speaker, Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, conducted affairs and where MPs were glued to the few seats that were made available to them and their spouses.

“It was, to say the least, chaotic and precarious. As a nation, these repeated scenes of inaugural ceremonies pose a challenge that we should confront and provide a solution to,” Hon. Bagbin suggested.

According to him, the country had witnessed the most ever keenly-contested presidential and parliamentary elections to take place in Ghana and as a man determined and prepared to steer the ship of state to success, President Mills used the occasion to remind Ghanaians about the work ahead of the country and the agenda he had set for Ghanaians.  

He said that President Mills’ pledge to provide jobs for the teeming youth, the provision and improvement of the country’s infrastructure, friendship and cooperation with members of the Judiciary, security and public services, the local and international business community as a prerequisite to the creation of a healthy and strong economy for the country were laudable ideas that should be supported by all Ghanaians.

Hon. Bagbin noted that the President had set in motion his avowed desire to see a united society, a country ready to make the needed take-off for social development, prosperity and peaceful co-existence.

He recognized that there was so much to be done and the President had promised not to countenance the politics of power or privilege, adding that every hand was needed on board for the necessary changes that would move the nation forward.

“It is my humble submission that when the father of this nation shows this type of leadership quality, one cannot help but to say a big thank you to him and it is in this respect that I call on my other colleagues to join me congratulate him for his election and to thank him for the concise, precise and unifying message of hope delivered at the inaugural ceremony,” Hon. Bagbin concluded.

By Awudu Mahama