I have learnt my lessons - Alban Bagbin
Under fire flagbearer hopeful of opposition National Democratic Congress, Alban Bagbin has reassured his party and Ghanaians of his commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for growth for people living with disabilities.
The flagbearer hopeful insists that it is not his nature to look down on underprivileged in society and recounted the numerous support he has offered people living with disabilities in the country.
Alban Bagbin over the past few days has been heavily criticised by members of his party and Ghanaians at large after some comments he made about the expediency of some appointments Former President Mahama made whilst in office seems to have hurt not only the appointees but members of the disabled association.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament mentioned to delegates in the Volta Region that the NDC lost the 2016 elections partially because of the involvement of Dr Henry Seidu Danaa who was visually impaired as Chieftaincy Minister and Dr Omane Boamah who stammers as Minister for Communications.
The backlash that followed and the ensuing debate, Alban Bagbin observes forced him into a deep reflection based on which he learnt numerous lessons and has taken full responsibility for all that happened and all that was said.
"As a leader, I take full responsibility for this situation and the impressions created. I have reflected deeply on all the comments coming from across a large section of the public and I have drawn relevant lessons from them. I want to assure the NDC and the good people of Ghana that my unflinching support for inclusive governance, a key part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), is never in doubt" the NDC flagbearer hopeful emphasised.
Alban Bagbin clarified the comments he made insisting that he did it out of goodwill and in the best interest of the party going forward.
The longest-serving legislator in Ghana's Parliament asserted that the issues he raised were not to question the competence of the people he mentioned but to highlight the need to address such issues so they are not repeated in the future.
To paint a good picture of himself, the Nadowli-Kaleo MP re-echoed the support and assistance he has offered to people living with disability and narrated to the gathering his association with them since childhood as he had to grow with relatives who had one form of disability or the other.
To this end, Alban Bagbin pledged to make reforms in the social sector a key pillar in his agenda for the nation should he be given the nod to lead the party and subsequently govern the country as President.
“For the records, I wish to state emphatically that I did not say persons with disabilities are not competent to be appointed to public offices or Ministerial positions. Never I did not say that. What I said was that certain wrong decisions were made in placing or assigning some government appointees.
This wrong placement cost the NDC some votes. I cited three Ministers to illustrate my point and stated that they were all very brilliant and capable persons but they were assigned to inappropriate Ministries,” Alban Bagbin clarified.
"As a social democrat and also a proud Pan-Africanist, I further pledge that when I become President of this country, I will ensure that the needed reforms in our social and governance structure are carried out to provide limitless opportunities for persons with disabilities,” he stressed at the press briefing.