Veteran parliamentarian and former Sekondi MP Papa Owusu Ankomah says he feels honoured to be mentioned as possible candidate for the position of Speaker of Parliament following his party’s triumph in the 2016 general elections.
“I would be honoured, I wouldn’t say I am looking forward to it. When the party decides I would be honoured” confessed the man who has cruised through six parliamentary terms.
After first wrestling the Sekondi seat in Western region from the NDC in 1996, Papa Owusu Ankomah kept the NPP seat, safe until he decided not to contest the party's primaries.
But after his party pummeled the governing NDC at the 2016 polls, Papa Owusu Anomah fancies that his political career could get a new lease of life.
There is a quiet but intense lobbying within the NPP as President-elect prepares to name his government and make more than 4,000 appointments in Ghana’s highly centralized political system.
Nana Akufo-Addo was expected to submit the list to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Executive Committee (NEC) for review, however, at a meeting Thursday, December 15, 2016, he did not provide the list but asked for more time.
In his staggering 20 years in Parliament, Papa Owusu Ankomah’s highest rank is Deputy Majority leader.
He told Joy News Seth Kwame Boateng, the Speaker of Parliament how he sometimes played a shadow Speaker role by occasionally offering his opinion whenever the current speaker Doe Adjaho sought it.
“Once a while he will solicit my opinion to guide the house” he combed through his 20 years parliamentary memories.
The politician who held six ministerial positions during the previous NPP regime revealed his initial reaction after he heard his name floating around.
“I was struck with awe. Really? If some members of my party considered me worthy of that position, it is a great honour.
Already the President-elect has listed three criterion for an appointment. He has said an appointee must share and believe in the party’s manifesto.
"Secondly, the competence and the capacity to master the briefs that are going to be given to them and carry them out.
Thirdly, the commitment to the Ghana project; loyalty to Ghana and coming to work for the people and not for yourself," Akufo-Addo said.
Papa Owusu Ankomah would fancy himself to be in good standing as far as these three must-haves are concerned.
While his legal profession and dye-in-the-wool veteran may make him a pick for the slot, Papa Owusu Ankomah says he won’t get ahead of himself.
The NPP may have won the general elections but for some in the party, heart break may be lurking around the corridors of power.