A group of delegates of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Northern Region have come out strongly to root for the election of Second Deputy Speaker of parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, for the 2020 Presidential ticket of the NDC.
At a press conference, they justified their emergence to support the longstanding Nadowli-kaleo MP with the explanation that Hon. Bagbin has been the strong shoulder on which the Northern region stood to put one of its sons on the presidential seat of the country and therefore has earned the right to occupy the seat himself.
“One good turn, deserves another, our elders say. It is an open secret that Hon. Bagbin’s selflessness made our son, John Mahama, President of Ghana. Now that he himself has stepped up to occupy the seat, we believe that it is only natural that we position ourselves behind him and push him on,” Madam Hadidza Alhassan, a delegate of the NDC said at a press conference in Tamale.
Flanked by a branch Chairman, Fuseini Butcher, she pointed out that Bagbin could have easily sabotaged John Mahama’s path to the Presidency if he so wished, “but did not because he is a selfless man whose cares went beyond the petty competition over who would become the first Northerner to be President in the 4th Republic.”
Explaining, she said that when President Mills had died in office, some interest groups had emerged with an agenda to relegate John Mahama to the background and take over the 2012 Presidential ticket of the NDC.
“But Hon. Bagbin had lobbied the founder of our party, President JJ Rawlings and the elders of the NDC to allow John to go unopposed during the Presidential primary for the 2012 election. That selfless lobby by Hon. Bagbin is what cleared a smooth path for John Mahama to become President.”
Madam Alhassan, who had been charged with passion, also pointed out that Hon. Bagbin’s influence on the political life of John Mahama goes beyond the Presidency, saying that when John Mahama first went to Parliament as MP for Bole bamboi, Hon. Bagbin who had earlier been there had taken him under his wings. “Hon. Bagbin taught Mahama the ropes in Parliament.”
She said the elevation of Mr. Mahama to the Presidency had been a source of massive pride to all Northerners, saying the brain behind that piece of Northern success deserves to be appreciated. “And the way we want to show our appreciation to Hon. Bagbin is that, we are rooting for him in his quest to become the Flagbearer of our beloved party, NDC, for 2020,” Madam Alhassan said.
The press conference was attended mostly by delegates of the NDC in the Northern region, who intermittently shouted their approval of the statement of Madam Alhassan.
She said the group she was leading was made up of many delegates of the NDC in the Northern Region, including a group called the 64 Bench which has branches in several constituencies of the Northern region.
She therefore assured Hon. Alban Bagbin that the delegates in the Northern region are behind him. She also used the opportunity to call on fellow delegates from across the country to vote massively for Hon. Bagbin in the NDC’s upcoming presidential primary.
On his part, Fuseini Butcher, a Branch Chairman who had shared the high table of the press conference with Madam Hadzidah Alhassan said Hon. Bagbin’s selflessness is not a thing limited to former President Mahama or the Northern region alone.
“Even the number of awards and citations that he has received shows that the man is a national treasure,” he said. Among others, he cited the Second Deputy Speaker’s receipt of a University of Ghana Medical Students Association (UGMSA) award. In 2017, the former Health Minister was awarded as Gold Sponsor of Medical Exchange programs.
The citation which had been read by the UGMSA President of the time, Asabere Kwabena Asante, read: “Sometimes the smallest thing takes up most room iin our hearts. You received us warmly when we called upon you for support. You sponsored a person but you have reached many Ghanaians through that. Your generosity helped train some Ghanaian doctors. We will produce quality healthcare in appreciation of you.”