The Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has given the strongest indication he is going to “fast and pray” for his colleague on the opposite side Alban Bagbin to win the upcoming National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primaries.
The MP for Nadowli-Kaleo is one of the longest-serving parliamentarians in Ghana as he seeks a seventh term in the Chamber in the 2016 elections.
Mensah-Bonsu of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and a good friend of Bagbin, believes his colleague is “under siege”, adding attempts to get the veteran MP out of Parliament will be a major blow to Ghana’s democracy.
“We should be looking at experience,” Mensah-Bonsu told Citi FM’s Richard Dela Sky. “We should be looking at wisdom and who is better positioned to perform the functions of an MP. If you want to contest the majority leader you should look at yourself if you can perform better than your majority leader.”
According to him, Bagbin is one of the institutional memories of the legislature and “needs to be protected.”
“I’m matured enough to see and appreciate quality. He is under siege. What is proper should be deemed to be proper and should be protected. I have told him … if I’ll have to pray and fast I’ll do that. I’ll support his candidature.”
The NPP lawmaker stressed he “believes in continuity” and people like Bagbin have the “requisite experience, intelligence and material for parliament.”
“Why do you pill them [experienced MPs] off to substitutes who don’t measure?” Mensah-Bonsu asked. “Democracy is not an all-comers game. Don’t open the gates at the end of every term to allow entry. It is not done anywhere. Parliament will lose out tremendously if we lose Alban Bagbin.”
He advised the political parties to amend their constitution to protect veteran MPs.
“2016 is too late to do anything. Time has come for the various political parties to do serious introspection and amend their constitution. We can’t be more Catholic than the Pope. It looks as if our parties have been taken over by money bags.
“If money should triumph over intelligence and experience we are breeding corruption. I pray for my colleague Bagbin.”