General News of Sun, 10 Sep 201711
Alban Bagbin missing at Mahama's unity walk
The Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo and second deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin was not seen at the ‘unity walk’ organized in Tamale Saturday by regional executives of the NDC even though he was spotted in the town on Friday.
Mr. Bagbin was seen at the Tamale Airport on Friday with the former president and other executives exchanging hearty pleasantries but went missing next day when hundreds of party supporters joined the former president to stage a walk on streets of the city.
The walk was dubbed ‘Unity Walk’, first of its kind since the party lost power in 2016. It was an idea of a former mayor of Kumasi, Kojo Bonsu, and supported by the regional executives. The event, according to party executives, was to forge unity, peace, and tranquillity in the party beset by post-election internal agitations.
It is still not clear why Mr. Bagbin refused to partake in the activity but the former Majority leader is on record to have severally, mostly subtly declared his intent to lead the NDC in 2020.
Many in the party told Starr News’ Eliasu Tanko that the action was a clear message that Mr. Bagbin was unwavering in his presidential ambitions and a political red light drawn by the experienced lawmaker.
The incident has sparked fresh exchanges in the region with Mr. Mahama loyalists dominating on social media cycles and castigating Bagbin for creating ‘needless’ rivalry. Bagbin supporters have been responding, calling them ‘undemocratic’.
It was also not clear how both leaders met at the airport and why Bagbin seemingly snubbed the party including its General Secretary at such an important event and when Starr News contacted the Northern regional communications officer of the party, he raged against the press.
Mr. Moomin Alhassan angrily denied all suggestions about the cause of the incident and explained that the airport meeting was coincident and that Mr. Bagbin was en route to Wa, the Upper West regional capital when he met the team including the ex-president.
He refuted claims of rivalry between Bagbin and Mahama and attacked the media for dwelling on and trying to create fallouts just to run down the Saturday event.
“Bagbin passed through the Tamale airport to Wa from Accra. He never came to Tamale for any Unity Walk. Look, if you are going to Wa from Accra by air you have to pass through Tamale, if you are going to Bolga you have to pass through Tamale; The airport is not Tamale, an airport is an airport so Bagbin didn’t come to Tamale at all,” Amin indicated.