The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has admonished Ghanaians to desist from the practice of politicising his health problems and those of other office-bearers.
This comes after the Speaker suffered a backlash of public opinion against his decision to travel to Dubai for routine medical checks, leaving Ghana right after the purported rejection of the 2022 Budget in Parliament on Friday 26 November.
A statement issued by the Office of the Speaker said: “The attention of the Office of Speaker Right Honourable Alban S K Bagbin has been drawn the circulation of a communication between Parliament’s Parliamentary Relations and Protocol Office and the Consulate General of Dubai. The said document is in regard to the Right Honourable Speaker’s trip to Dubai for a routine medical check-up.
“Let it be placed on record that the Speaker is accompanied by four officials, to the exclusion of his aide de camp, protocol officer, butler and other relevant staff. The Speaker’s Office will again [sic] like to state that, as part of their conditions of service, Speakers of Ghana’s Parliament are entitled to such routine medical check-ups, just like officials of the executive and judiciary arms [sic] of government.
“The Office will advise that the health issues of the Speaker and that of office-bearers [be] not politicised, as anybody could be taken ill at any time. It is an undeniable fact that the membership of the House is one whole group with a common agenda and destiny,” the statement said.
“I’m being insulted because of Minority”
The Speaker of Parliament earlier chided the Minority Caucus for subjecting him to public ridicule by their actions and comments because of the delay in resuming sitting on Friday (26 November).
The Speaker had suspended sitting for 30 minutes to allow the Majority members, who were in a caucus meeting, to return to the chamber of Parliament.
However, the House took more than two hours to resume sitting, which prompted the Minority members to chant, sing songs and criticise the House leadership.
Bagbin, who was clearly not happy with the actions of the Minority, said he has his reputation to protect in serving the nation.
The Speaker said the delay was caused by an audience he granted the Minister for Finance and leaders of both sides as the House prepared to vote on the 2022 Budget.
“I’m saying that the suspension was for 30 minutes but it has taken us two hours or more to return, and that is because, the subject matter that we are to discuss, there’s been new development … and as Speaker, I have to be briefed.
“So your leaders came with the Minister for Finance to brief me. Should I ignore them and come and preside because I’ve suspended sitting for 30 minutes?
“Go through the media and see how I’m being insulted. Please, the only thing I have is my reputation … Please let’s be honourable Members of Parliament.”