Mr Timothy Awuntirim Ataboadey, a former Member of Parliament for Builsa North has heaped tonnes of praises on Mr Alban Bagbin, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament for grooming him and many others in Parliament.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) guru, has given a reminder that the huge political and intellectual stature of the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament could propel him as Presidential candidate of the party in 2020.
Mr Ataboadey, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the potential leadership of the Party in 2020 said the MP for Nadowli/Kaleo, who is a leading contender for the 2020 presidential ticket of the NDC was richly qualified to become President after paying his dues in Parliament over the years.
“Amidst all the chatter in the media, I think it is worth noting that Mr Bagbin has contributed immensely to our democracy and governance culture in this country. If for nothing at all, he has groomed many of us Parliamentarians, including at least, two out of the five Presidents that we have had in the fourth Republic.
Bagbin is an institution that grooms and trains people, I still go to him for guidance. The sitting President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his immediate predecessor, former President John Dramani Mahama both met Hon Alban Bagbin in Parliament” Mr Ataboadey said.
The former Builsa North MP cited himself as another example of legislators who had benefited immensely from the grooming of Mr Bagbin.Given this impact on Ghanaian politics, he said Mr Bagbin was a personality who deserved to be given the opportunity to lead the country. “If even people that he groomed have risen to become Presidents then I think it wouldn’t be bad at all to try him too.”
The guru’s reminder comes at a time that Mr Bagbin was locked in an election pre-heat with former President John Mahama, who is lacing his boots to contest for the 2020 flagbearership.As the run-up to the flagbearership vote intensifies, the revered MP for Nadowli Kaleo, who has a fierce reputation as an anti-corruption champion, has been dominating media headlines through unsolicited endorsements from many admirers within the party.
“As one of the pioneers of the Fourth Republican Parliament, Mr Bagbin came to Parliament in 1993. While Nana Akufo-Addo who later came as MP for Abuakwa in 1997 received guidance on Parliamentary practice from him.”
“For former President John Mahama, Mr Bagbin actually took him under his wings when he first came to Parliament as the MP for Bole Bamboi in 1997. Mahama’s brilliance which would lead to his rise to become President started with him getting noticed as an eloquent Parliamentarian. He got this notice because Mr Bagbin appointed him as the Director of Communications for the NDC caucus,” Mr Timothy Ataboadey said.
He said the former President and the current one are just two of people that Mr Bagbin trained in Parliament and that most young Parliamentarians, including himself, respect the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament as their groomer.
“When the going was becoming tough for former president Mahama in his constituency in 2004, Mr Bagbin was there and campaigned for him, he even told the people of Bole that MrJohn Mahama was a presidential material and truly Mahama became a President.
“Mr Bagbin is a very good leader and has helped us in diverse ways, Almighty God enjoins us to speak the truth” the former MP added.