President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at his inauguration for a second term on Tuesday, congratulated Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on his election and inauguration to the position of Speaker of Parliament.
“ I must, at the outset, express my warm congratulations to my good friend and colleague of many years in this House, the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, on his assumption of office as the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the 4th Republic,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The new Speaker of Parliament, Second Deputy Speaker of the just dissolved Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic, had served in parliament as MP for 28 years, as Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo, and the President minced no words on the marathon years of service to the people of Ghana.
President Akufo Addo said: “Nearly three decades of devoted service to Parliament by you has culminated in this moment, which has seen your elevation to the third great Office of State of our nation.”
The President, who was a Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South Constituency, joined the nascent New Patriotic Party (NPP) and served as a Member of Parliament under the party’s banner for three terms (1996–2008).
Under President John Kufuor, Akufo-Addo served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice from 2001 until 2003, and thereafter, Foreign Affairs Minister.
He was in Parliament together with Mr Bagbin during his 12-year tenure.
“Together, you and I will be charting new territories in the governance and politics of the 4th Republic, for this is the first time in the life of this Republic that a President from one party will be obliged, by the exigencies of the moment and the will of the people, to work, in all sincerity and co-operation, with a Speaker of Parliament from another party,” he said.
President Akufo Addo pledged to follow in the footsteps of Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, who served two successive terms in office.
He stated that he would not take the honour and privilege bestowed on his modest self as president lightly, thanked Almighty God and the Ghanaian people, who he said “by an emphatic margin” renewed his mandate in office for four more years, in the elections of 7th December 2020.
“It is a demonstration of the confidence and trust you, the Ghanaian people, have reposed in me, not only in appreciation for the achievements chalked throughout my first four years, but more significantly for the considerable amount of work that is to be done over the next four years,” President Akufo told Parliament, and the millions of Ghanaians, watching and listening to the programme via traditional and social media.
He was confident that all hands would be on deck to take Ghana firmly onto the path of progress, prosperity and development, following the havoc wreaked by COVID-19.
“This is a task I wholeheartedly accept, and I assure all Ghanaians that I will do my utmost to deliver on it,” he said, as he praised the sheer can-do-spirit of the Ghanaian, which he said he had witnessed all his life.
Early on, Speaker Bagbin led a group of leadership in Parliament to receive the President at the entrance, into the large conference tent, at the precincts of the Parliament House, in Osu-Accra, which became the parliamentary chamber for the occasion.
He later thanked and expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo and the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, saying,”I sincerely thank you for your inauguration and Vice for the administration of the country.