July 3, 2024

The Parliament of Ghana has held a public forum with a colourful durbar of Chiefs and people in Techiman and its environs in the Bono East Regional capital as part of its scheduled year-long activities to mark the 30th Anniversary celebration of the 4th Republic of Ghana.

This celebration marks three decades of uninterrupted and stable democratic governance and Parliament has undoubtedly, been at the forefront since January 7, 1993.

The Forum in Techiman sought to provide an opportunity for Parliament to soberly reflect on the successes chalked since the inception of the Fourth Republican Parliamentary Democracy and the challenges to overcome as a nation, going forward.

Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament in his speech to mark the occasion in Techiman said the 1992 Constitution has stabilized democracy in Ghana but noted there was a lot yet to be done to refine it to better suit the situation of Ghanaians. He called on future government to take it seriously to amend the 1992 Constitution. ”In the light of this, it is imperative that we treasure and put a high premium on the re-examination of the 1992 constitutional concept and practice of our multiparty constitutional parliamentary democracy, particularly within the context of Sub-Saharan Africa, where some of our neighboring countries, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Niger have witnessed democratic reversals with the emergence of unconstitutional governments”, he stated.

Speaking on the theme of the anniversary celebration dubbed, “Thirty Years of Parliamentary Democracy Under the 4th Republic: The Journey Thus Far”, Mr. Alban Bagbin acknowledged the sacrifice, dedication and commitment of visionary leaders who worked tirelessly to craft the 1992 Constitution that paved way for the inception of the Fourth Republic. “We celebrate the wise counsel and leadership of our Kings, Queens and Queen Mothers, a pillar of stability in this country. The contributions of past and present Members of the Consultative Assembly and Parliament, whose dedication and service have contributed a great deal in deepening our parliamentary democracy”, he emphasized. He added that Parliament further recognize with great appreciation the contributions of notable former Clerks to Parliament from Bono such as Nana Rex Owusu-Ansah and Mr. Emmanuel Anyimadu.

Touching on Parliament as an institution, The Speaker said Parliament is the pillar that holds democracy globally and therefore recognizes the onerous responsibility that the citizens of this country have placed on it. He noted that Parliament was mindful of the trust that the citizens have reposed on it. “Let me assure you, Chairman, that Parliament do not take the responsibility and trust for granted; we are resolved to ensure that our democracy survives not only the test of time, but also the test of legitimacy, responsiveness and relevance to the needs and aspirations of Ghanaians”, he assured. He was quick to add that the quality of Parliament determines the quality of democracy in every country.

On Governance, the Speaker noted the nation, certainly were confronted with various challenges such as poor leadership and bad governance as a result of week institutions and systems, yellow journalism, insecurity, mismanagement and an unprecedented economic down turn. He re-iterated, nonetheless, the Ghana was blessed with a stable but fragile political environment that provides the opportunity to dialogue and work towards overcoming the difficulties and challenges.

Also on 2024 Elections, Mr. Alban Bagbin urged all stakeholders, including Nananom, the Executive President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the Judiciary, led by the Chief Justice, the Constitutional Commissions, particularly the EC, NCCE, CHRAJ, MC, Political Parties, think-tanks, Security Agencies, Civil Society Organizations and the Clergy to work together towards ensuring a peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in December this year. “Mr. Chairman, as we celebrate our democratic credentials, let me emphasize that we can only maintain our true accolade as the beacon of democracy in Africa, if we conduct election 2024 in a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible manner”, he said. He noted that the impending elections was a new opportunity to reaffirm and renew Ghanaians commitment to the democratic ideals, a new opportunity to demonstrate that Ghana, the Shining Star of Africa, can always rise to the occasion, and show the way for others to follow.

Mr. Kwasi Adu-Gyan, the Bono East Regional Minister in his speech assured the people in the Region that he will ensure that the 2024 elections was conducted in peaceful atmosphere with free and fair outcome. “If there should be bloodshed, not in my region”, the Regional Minister assured.

The Public Forum was chaired the Omanhene of Bassa, Nana Owusu Sakyi III.
The Speaker was accompanied by his spouse, MPs from Bono and Bono East regions, the Deputy Clerk to Parliament and some staff of the Parliamentary Service.

Imoro T. Ayibani