A thanksgiving service has been held at Christ the King Church in Cantonments, Accra, for the Speaker of the eighth parliament of the Fourth Republic, Alban Bagbin, on his successful election to the high office.
The service was attended by the two deputy Speakers, current and former MPs, the Clerk to Parliament and parliamentary staff.
The running mate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Election 2020, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, represented former President John Dramani Mahama at the service.
In a speech to show his appreciation, Bagbin recognised God’s favour in the events leading to his election and quoted the popular Christian saying that he who kneels before God can stand before any man.
He pledged to seek God’s face and guidance in all his dealings during the four years he will serve as Speaker.
The main celebrant of service was Father Andrew Campbell.
Road to Speaker
Bagbin won a closely contested secret ballot in Parliament against the immediate past Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye.
He polled 138 votes against his predecessor’s 136. One legislator failed to vote.
Profile of Bagbin
Bagbin was born on 24 September 1957 at Sombo in the Upper West Region. He started school at an early age at the Roman Catholic Primary School in Sombo and did his second- cycle education at Wa Secondary School, ending at Tamale Secondary School, where he earned his O’ and A’ level certificates before entering the University of Ghana in 1977.
Bagbin is a graduate of the University of Ghana (1977-80) and the Ghana School of Law (1980 -82). He holds an executive Master’s degree in governance and leadership from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
From 1980 to 1982, he worked at the Bureau of Statistics and the Statistical Service as the acting secretary to the Statistical Service Board. He was also the personnel manager of the erstwhile State Hotels Corporation.
Bagbin practised as a private legal practitioner and partner with a firm of lawyers, consultants and notaries public.
He was the longest-serving Member of Parliament in the last parliament, having served since 1993, when the first parliament of the Fourth Republic was inaugurated, to January 2021 when the seventh parliament was dissolved.
He has held a number of positions in Parliament since 1994 and capped his law-making career by becoming Majority Leader and Leader of the House. In the first parliament of the Fourth Republic, he was the chairman of the parliamentary committee on subsidiary legislation, vi-chairman of the committee on mines and energy and a member of the local government and rural development committee.
In the second parliament Bagbin was the chairman of the committee on constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs with oversight responsibilities for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Electoral Commission, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), the Office of Parliament and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
He was also the chairman of the public accounts committee from 2001 to 2005 and vice-chairman of the appointments committee.
Multiple ministerial positions
Speaker Bagbin served as a minister of health in the Mills government and became the Majority Leader in Parliament in 2009. Following a cabinet reshuffle in January 2010, he was appointed as minister of water resources, works and housing by President Atta Mills.
He was the second deputy Speaker of the seventh parliament, which was dissolved at midnight on 6 January 2021.
On 7 January 2021, Bagbin was nominated and elected as Speaker of the eighth parliament. He comes to the office of Speaker with a wealth of experience on how parliaments around the world function, having been an active participant of many international parliamentary organisations.
He is very interested in the media and their development. He has contributed immensely to the development of the Parliamentary Press Corps. He enjoys music and reading and is an avid keeper of records.