The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has described the current Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin, as a more accommodating Leader of both sides of the House than Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, the immediate past Speaker.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Face to Face, the lawmaker admitted it is early days yet to compare the tenure of the two Speakers since Bagbin has not even completed a full year of his tenure.
He however believes Speaker Bagbin has so far exhibited “very good signs.”
“It’s quite early to judge, but Speaker Bagbin has so far shown very good signs. We do know that he is the most experienced speaker in terms of knowledge of the house. He has been in the house as a founding member of Parliament of the 8th Parliament. He knows the entire rudiments and spectrum. He is well-versed with proceedings and technicalities, the role that Parliament should play. And I will say that he has been more accommodating.”
In his view, unlike Bagbin, Professor Oquaye came across as an “autocratic and partisan leader.”
“Professor Mike Ocquaye is my own Sunday school teacher, lecturer at the University of Ghana, and a proud ‘odade3’, and he knows that I hold him in high regard. But because of that teacher role that he has played over the years, he tended to be a bit too bossy and quite autocratic sometimes. He did not really allow the debate in the house to flow. He came across sometimes as too partisan.”
“And indeed, we had cause to go public on some of his rulings. But that is not to take anything away from him as a fine man and a mentor. But if you juxtapose his tenure, in the 7th Parliament with that of Speaker Bagbin, you will realise that Speaker Bagbin has been more accommodating of both sides of the house. There are times that he has been torn between allowing motions that have been filed to just go as it is, but he has pushed for a more consensual approach. I remember that with Mahama Ayariga’s motion on school fees, he encouraged the other side to make inputs and let it be a consensual motion.”
Mr. Bagbin, who was the Second Deputy Speaker in the previous Parliament was elected as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament on January 7, 2021. His only contender was Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.