Speaker charges legislators to propel development

BY: Daily Graphic

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has charged legislators to stay committed to their core mandate of providing oversight on government activities to better serve the people.

According to the Speaker, Parliament, as an institution, was clothed with the legitimacy and authority to make a difference in the lives of the people with the right focus.

He said the time was right for Parliaments to wake up to that realisation.

Mr Bagbin said this when a Kenyan parliamentary delegation on defence and foreign relations,led by Mr Charles Kilonzo, called on him in Parliament as part of a week-long working visit to Ghana.

Co-operation

Mr Bagbin used the occasion to reiterate his call for increased cooperation among sub-Saharan countries and their counterparts in the East.

“I think it is true that in spite of our good relations, we have not fared well in many areas particularly trade. We need to start looking more at one another rather than outside. There is nobody that can make you better than yourself,” he said.

He said any country that wanted to develop started from its Parliament that was why Presidents were sworn before Parliaments.

He said there was no democracy in any part of the world without Parliaments, saying that it was Parliament that invited even the Chief Justice to swear in Presidents and the Speaker of Parliament.

“It is Parliaments that are failing the people in Africa and not the Executive. We have the authority… We have the legitimacy and we have the mandate to make a difference in the lives of the people. Never be deterred by any whims and caprices of any President. Once you do the right thing, the people will solidly be with you,” he said.

Liberation struggle

For his part, Mr Kilionzo commended Ghana for the role it played in the liberation struggle for their country’s independence, which led to entrenching democracy in most parts of the continent.

He said Kenya and Ghana shared a lot in common which must be directed to benefit the citizens of both countries.

He also stressed the importance of deepening parliamentary democracy on the continent.