by Abubakar Ibrahim
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament says the only political party in the country that is media friendly even when it is in opposition is the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Alban Bagbin said the NPP knows how to pamper and invest in the media which it did with distinction when it boycotted the 1992 general elections. The NPP went to Parliament for the first time in 1997.
The seasoned politician said his own political party - National Democratic Congress (NDC) - does not know how to handle the media which was manifested during the eight-year rule of the party from 2008 to 2016.
Mr Bagbin said the NPP courted the media and opened some during the first Parliament of the Fourth Republic when the NDC government depended on state media.
Speaking at the NDC’s 25th-anniversary launch in Accra Thursday, the Nadowli-Kaleo MP said the party need to improve on its relations with the media if it wants to improve its political fortunes.
Former President John Mahama expressed worry over the control of the media by a "cabal" that sieved out messages of the party from reaching Ghanaians during the run-up to the December 2016 election.
“It is populism, a certain group has taken control of the media in Ghana and it makes it difficult for people to discern the truth. So as much as you are putting out the information, it is either being blocked or distorted,” Mr Mahama said in an interview with Ovation Magazine.
Speaking for himself and calling for the party's members to rally around good leadership, Mr Bagbin said, “I am not one of those who are gifted with the tongue. I can’t parrot like the others.”
Nonetheless, he said he is passionate in whatever he does and does so with serious commitment.
Mr Bagbin who is one of the longest-serving MPs in the Fourth Republic spoke about how he rose through the ranks as a “small boy” dealing with the big guns of the party to become a front runner in Parliament.
The Second Deputy Speaker who 'tells it as it is' described the NDC as the only truly national party in the country.
He said the conditions of service being enjoyed by Parliamentarians became possible through the sacrifices of the PNDC and the NDC.
Touching on the taste of the NPP for luxurious products, he said the opposition MPs party declined to use second-hand cars and were non-cooperative in its relation with NDC MPs when they joined in 1997.
“His Excellency Jerry Rawlings had to give in and that is when we started with the car loans for MPs to buy cars.
“We have lost, we still have the men and women more than them [NPP]. They have a few lawyers who are good at writing and talking,” he said.
He appealed to members of the party who were aggrieved and failed to vote for the NDC in 2016 because their names were omitted from the electoral roll register to reconsider their decision. Mr Bagbin implored the party's rank and file to prioritise the 2020 elections.
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