Speaker Calls for State Burial for Departed Former Majority Leaders

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Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumani Bagbin, has stressed the need to position the institution of Parliament to bring it in line with other parallel arms of government.

He argued because Parliament has been out for so long in the scheme of protocol of the state, it has been a bit marginalized.

He stated that those who sweat, toiled, worked and committed themselves to the service of the state through Parliament should be appreciated when they depart because such gratitude is more motivational.

Mr. Alban Bagbin made the call when family of the late Dr. Kwabena Adjei paid a courtesy call on the Speaker on Thursday, to officially inform him of the transition and funeral arrangement of the former majority leader.

Dr. Adjei died on 12th March, 2019 at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, formerly Ridge Hospital after a protracted illness and will be buried on Saturday 1st June, 2019 in Nkonya Ntsumuru.

He was a former chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and served two terms from 2005 till December 2014 when he lost to Kofi Portuphy. He celebrated his 76th birthday three days before his demise.

Dr. Kwabena Adjei served three terms as MP for Biakoye Constituency from 1992 – 2004 and served in various positions including deputy and cabinet minister and also majority leader and minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

The Deputy Speaker indicated Parliament expected some contact from the Adjei family in order to give the former leader a befitting burial but was disappointed to hear the funeral and burial dates had already been decided.

This, he said, jeopardized all arrangements the House made in respect of Dr. Adjei’s funeral and stressed a system must be put in place for state recognition of those who ascend to the high office of majority leader when they passed on.

He said, “We lost some of those opportunities when the late J.H. Owusu Acheampong died.”

“Then we had the opportunity of the late J.H. Mensah. We had a sort of state burial but the prominence and visibility was not shown.”

He pledged that regardless of this, the entire membership of the House would be on hand to mourn and help bury a worthy and true son of the state.

Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in his statement pleaded with the various political parties to re-examine how they conduct internal elections into various offices, whether they are building unity or creating wedges.

He expressed grief that Dr. Adjei, after losing his position, tried to find ways to reconnect to the NDC party and stressed the situation could have been different if the structures and systems had been set another way.

“Let’s look at how we are building our parties because am not sure we are on the right course. The constitution is clear that as far as these things are concerned, we should not subject ourselves to undue pressure concerning elections.”

“The constitution provides for us to choose leaders for the parties but election cannot be the only way because we are polarizing the parties internally and externally and that is not what Ghana deserves,” he stated.

The demise of Dr. Kwabena Adjei, he said, should therefore serve as useful lesson for all to help unite political parties and keep on steam all those who might have served before.”

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