Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has over the years worked in the interest of Persons with Disability (PWDs) in the country, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said.
According to him, the Nadwoli/Kaleo MP’s efforts at helping PWDs has earned him accolades among the disability community in the country.
Mr Bagbin, on Tuesday, 28 August, rendered an apology to former Minister of Communication Dr Edward Omane Boamah, and former Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr Seidu Danaa, for making reference to their disabilities (speech and visual impairment) in a recent comment.
“I assure all Ghanaians, especially the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) family, who, by one way or other, felt offended by my alleged comments, of my respect and support for persons with disability. I render my heartfelt apology to you all. I want to take full responsibility for the indiscretion in going public with issues that should otherwise be private to the NDC,” the flag bearer-hopeful of the opposition NDC told a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, 28 August 2018.
The Nadowli/Kaleo legislator incurred the wrath of a section of the public when he suggested that the appointment of “stammer” Dr Boamah and “blind man” Dr Danaa as ministers, cost the NDC the 2016 elections.
Speaking to delegates in the Volta Region, Mr. Bagbin said he believed although Dr Omane Boamah is an intelligent young man, his appointment was misplaced.
The lawmaker said: “I learnt from tradition that it is not the chief that speaks, it is the linguist and, so, when you are a leader, you must have a very good linguist.
“When Prof [Atta Mills] was in power, Haruna Iddrisu was our linguist in charge of communication, when my brother John [Mahama] came to power; he substituted him for Dr Omane Boamah who is a natural stammerer.
“He is a very intelligent boy, he is smart but when he is speaking, he wastes time in coming out and Ghanaians do not have that much patience, so, they are always looking for those that are rattling.
“So, even though you might have a good message, you will not succeed in marketing that message because somebody is there from the other side rattling and they are listening to him, so, we came down.
“You didn’t realise it, I studied governance and leadership up to the Master’s [level], so, I have some of these things at hand… They were some of the mistakes that cost us dearly.”
Speaking on the issue on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM hosted by Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM Wednesday, 29 August, Mr Nketia said: “The NDC is a progressive party and we are always looking for ways to uplift the disadvantaged in the society to be able to come to the level of living a normal life.”
He added: “Bagbin is so much concerned about disability issues. At one point, some disabled persons within the NDC party even honoured him for his support for persons with disabilities, and, so, I was shocked at the comments.”