Speaker Alban Bagbin has disclosed that he will be limiting the wearing of suits and the Speaker’s gown during sittings in the House.
The former Nadowli-Kaleo Member of Parliament explained that as part of efforts to effect positive change and to show leadership whiles at it, he will wear the gown for ceremonial occasions but wear more local dresses when presiding.
“From next year (i.e. 2022), apart from the focus on corruption, you will see me not only speaking but acting to change even the dress code and the code of conduct of Members of Parliament. As leaders we must show the way, we must show direction.
“And so you will not be seeing me often again with that dress code, a suit and that aristocratic cloak or gown. You may be seeing me more with traditional dresses. I may be using that (suit, cloak) only for ceremonial occasions,” he stated in an interview on Momeen Tonight on GTV late last year.
Bagbin disclosed that occasional use is “what is in the literature of Ghana concerning that cloak or gown. It is for only ceremonial occasions.
“So those who know former speakers, you will see former Speaker Asiedu wearing kente and a shirt and that is the portrait we have today, so we have to change all that because we have to provide the market for our produce.
“We cannot continue to rely on what others manufacture and sell to us, when we ourselves are capable of manufacturing even better ones,” he added.
Retired Bagbin’s rise to Speakership
On January 7, 2021, as the current Parliament convened to elect a speaker, his name popped up as the preferred candidate by the main opposition National Democratic Congress as against the candidature of the then outgoing speaker, Aaron Mike Oquaye, of the governing New Patriotic Party.
After a rancorous voting process which involved shouting and hurling of invectives by Members of Parliament-elect, kicking of voting booths and snatching of ballot papers, not to talk of a military invasion of the chamber, Alban Bagbin was elected speaker.
Whiles the NDC insists he won the vote outright, the NPP said he was a consensus candidate between the two sides of the house. The NPP agreed to play ball because they had a presidential inauguration to attend, which event the Minority had said they will boycott.