The Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has taken the opportunity to outlined some bare facts about his travel.
In a statement, the Office of the Speaker of Parliament has taken note of the publications in both the new and traditional media with respect to the travel of the Rt. Hon. A. S. K. Bagbin to Dubai for medical review.
The Speaker’s office has place the following on record following some misinformation in the media space and the public domain:
1. The Rt. Hon. Speaker did not travel to Dubai with his children as is being alleged. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has never included his children in any of his trips.
2. Travel expenses for Mr. Speaker’s trip to Dubai is in accordance with what is prescribed for the Speaker of Parliament long before Rt. Hon Bagbin became Speaker, and also for analogous members of government such as the President, Vice President and the Chief Justice.
3. The figures quoted in the story as per diem are false. The Speaker has no hand in the computation of his per diem and it is available as part of the official records of the state. It is part of the mischief that the publication is aimed at.
4. For purposes of clarity, Mr. Speaker traveled with the medical doctor in charge of Parliament Medical Centre, his spouse as carer and two other officials of Parliament as the least in practice.
There is no advance party, no children, and certainly no other member on his entourage.
According to the statement, what is intriguing is the focus on Mr. Speaker’s travel and the efforts at exaggerating the cost. Meanwhile, there is complete silence on the travels of other members of government, the frequency of which is far higher than that of Mr. Speaker.
Even within the hierarchy of Parliament, there are members of the leadership whose frequency of travel is far higher than that of Mr. Speaker. It is also on record that Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, in his 14 months as Speaker, is the least travelled of all previous Speakers of Parliament within the same time frame.
The statement signed by the Public Affairs Directorate for the Office of the Speaker said, the public is advised to see in such publications the political mischief that is intended and ignore such publications with the contempt they deserve.