A National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer hopeful, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who also happens to be the Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament has apologized for the excesses of some statements he is alleged to have made recently during his campaign tour of the Volta region.
According to him, his statements were largely misconstrued and deliberately twisted to suit a well thought-out political agenda against him. Nevertheless, he has taken full responsibility for all the mishap that has created disaffections for him and his campaign team among certain quarters of the society.
Mr. Bagbin is alleged to have demonstrated acts of insensitivity and denigrated the image of persons living with disability by his criticism of the appointment of a blind person to head the Chieftaincy institution and also a speech impaired person to head the information department among others.
After he made the comments, both social media and the traditional media in the country became awash with comments against him. The Ghana Federation of the disabled issued a press statement to register their displeasure almost immediately.
The veteran politician who is well respected for leading the NDC party in parliament from opposition to power and again out of power, was not spared for his criticism against the said appointments made in the erstwhile John Mahama led administration.
However, in addressing a press conference on Tuesday, 28th August at his campaign office at South Labadi estates, Mr. Bagbin indicated that he did not say what had been attributed to him. “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”.
He explained that, what he said was to the effect that certain wrong decisions were made in placing or assigning some government appointees to head ministries which were not politically expedient and in his opinion that eventually cost the NDC some votes in the last elections.
Though his explanations sounded like a justification for the statement on the face value, he went ahead to apologize to all those who were affected by his comments and the party membership as a whole.
“I want to take full responsibility for the indiscretion in going public with issues that should otherwise be private to the NDC. I have learnt that such disclosure could raise emotions among some sections of the Ghanaian society.” He stated.
He used the occasion to reaffirm his commitment to the disability community and all marginalized groups in the country.
“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 noted.
In his response to his critics that he has set out to destroy the party than seek to lead it with the alleged attacks on the former administration of the NDC, the Flagbearer aspirant indicated, “those who think I am in with the mission to destroy the NDC party will soon revise their notes by the time I finish touring the entire country.”
He was quick to add that even if he is not elected the flagbearer of the party, he is ready to offer 100 percent support to whoever is elected.
Source: Clement Akoloh/afriwakeradio.com