The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alban Bagbin, has said that his public criticisms of former President John Mahama were not to “destroy” him but to “improve” him.
According to him, although the former president did not take his comments lightly initially, he later accepted and appreciated them.
Alban Bagbin, who is one of Ghana’s longest-serving MPs, has been accused by some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), of being one of the people responsible for the 2016 election loss of the John Mahama government.
They said Bagbin’s open criticism of the incumbent government was of malicious intent, and made it unpopular hence the loss. But reacting to the claims on Eyewitness News, Alban Bagbin said his criticisms of the John Mahama government was out of the genuine interest in the development of the country.
He said he had similarly criticized former Presidents including Jerry John Rawlings, John Evans Atta-Mills and John Kufuor openly on issues he disagreed with them over.
“It is not just former President Mahama that I have criticized. It doesn’t show that I criticize to destroy, I criticize to improve. I believe strongly that even though the former president did not take kindly to those criticisms, he took it in good faith later and made revisions on some of his stance and it helped improve governance….We worked harmoniously, we did a lot of things together until we lost power in 2016. Even during the campaign, I was in touch with him,” he said.
Alban Bagbin added that, it will be false to say that his relationship with John Mahama had grown bitter due to his criticisms.
He said, “I rather played a part in strengthening his [Mahama] governance. It is not only the criticism of some conduct that I made as far back as 2013. I did support him in many ways to improve on governance.”
At an event to celebrate his 25th year in Ghanaian politics, the Nadoli/Kaleo legislator declared to journalists that his presidential ambitions were “as clear as daylight.”
He said he considers himself a notch above all the other persons who have been touted as potential flagbearers, including former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, and former National Health Insurance Scheme CEO, Sylvester Mensah.
“I stand tall amongst those who have come out so far. There is none of them… who doesn’t admire my leadership because I have led all of them in politics,” he said.
Many have said his open declaration of interest to contest for the flagbearership position is only to frustrate former president John Mahama who many believe will contest in the party’s primaries ahead of election 2020.