A group of leading members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Upper East Region, is advocating the election of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, as the party's 2020 Presidential Candidate.
According to them, a Bagbin flagbearership in 2020 would easily woo more intellectuals to the side of the NDC - a critical section of the society that had usually shied away from the party and its mass appeal.
“Mr Alban Bagbin is himself an intellectual and, the weight of his voice and advice is seen in the way many fellow intellectuals listen to him when he speaks. NDC is a party for the masses, but the truth is that the intellectual base of Ghana keeps growing and we need this critical mass of Ghanaians on our side.
“With Mr Bagbin already being a toast of the intellectual class of our country, we will be doing ourselves a lot of good if we elect him as flagbearer for 2020, since he would easily attract the ‘book long people’, which has mostly voted for the NPP, to the NDC.”
A statement signed by Mr. Atorewe Weadam, a leading member of the NDC in the Upper East Region, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said Mr Bagbin’s intellectual appeal was evidenced in the large number of awards that he had received from intellectual bodies.
One such intellectual association, he pointed out, was the Global Institute for Leadership Capacity Building, which awarded Mr Bagbin the Governance and Leadership Excellence award for 2016.
In that award, the citation read: “For over two decades, you have been pivotal in preserving the heritage of Ghana’s Parliament and her political landscape as well. You have done this by demonstrating astuteness and acuity in governance and political leadership.
“Through your efforts, we have an enviable Parliament in the sub region that is equipped, structured and institutionalised to undertake its full legislative functions.
“Rt. Hon, your leadership embodies the early political Founders’ virtues of hard work, dedication and service to the nation.
“Your immense contribution to Constitutional reforms, governance and politics as an experienced governance expert and Politician and also the longest serving Parliamentarian in the Fifth Parliament of The Republic of Ghana is praiseworthy and highly estimable.
“You are a trainer of trainers, a lecturer and a mentor to many budding Politicians and Parliamentarians in Ghana and Africa. You are an exceptional Statesman with integrity and character.”
The beautiful citation had been read by the Founder and Leader of the Global Institute for leadership capacity building, Selassie W. addae.
According to Mr. Atorewe Weadam, that citation was just one of numerous that he deemed purposeful to quote in order to make his point that Bagbin would be a potent magnet to the intellectual base of the country.
“Mr Bagbin has won so many leadership awards and citations, that if we were to say we want to mention all, it will take us days to complete,” he said.
Mr. Weadam, therefore, called on delegates of the party to vote massively for him to lead the NDC into 2020.
Mr. Awiah Baba, another NDC Activist in Navrongo added that the Nadowli-Kaleo MP was not only a man with a track record that was attractive to the intelligentsia but the political class and the masses as well.
“In 2012, Mr Bagbin was voted the best Minister under President Mills. As the Minister of Health, he supervised the building of many Nursing Training schools. It is also a well-known fact that Mr. Bagbin as Health Minister, initiated the upgrading of the Ridge Hospital,” he said.
Mr. Baba added that as Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Mr Bagbin also made significant progress in the construction of the Keta Sea Defense.
“He was the pivotal person who increased the water coverage in Ghana from a little over 50 per cent to over 80 per cent,” he said.