Disability groups turn on Bagbin over ‘offensive’ comments

Alban Bagbin is on record to have criticised former president Mahama’s decision to appoint Dr. Omane Boamah as Communications Minister, describing the latter as a ‘stammerer”.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer hopeful is on record to have criticised former president Mahama’s decision to appoint Dr. Omane Boamah as Communications Minister, describing the latter as a ‘stammerer”.

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The Nadowli Kaleo MP went ahead to again chide Mahama for his appointment of Dr. Seidu Danaa as Chieftaincy Minister, saying blind people are “not whole” and therefore unfit to lead a ministry that handles chieftaincy issues.

However, Mr. Bagbin has been taken on by some disability groups, who described his utterances against visual and speech impaired persons as offensive.

President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, Yaw Ofori Debrah, said such comments are disappointing and demands an apology from the legislator.

Adding his voice, President of the Stammers Association, Elias Apraku, also condemned Mr. Bagbin, insisting such comments will only entrench stigmatisation against people who stammer.

Read the full statement below:

STATEMENT BY PERSONS WHO STAMMER ON DISPARAGING COMMENTS BY SECOND DEP SPEAKER

Our attention has been drawn to a very damning soundbite on stammerers from the second deputy speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.

On the voice clip, the Second Deputy Speaker was heard clearly alluding that Dr. Omane Boamah was not fit to occupy the Communications Ministry because he is a stammerer.

We find his description of the former minister not only unguarded, reckless and infantile but an attack on all well-meaning stammerers in the Communications Industry.

Stammering is a speech disorder which impairs one’s speech flow, but that cannot, with all due respect to the Mr. Bagbin be used as a yardstick to judge one’s competency.

We note with concern that his unguarded attack on the former minister could discourage many stammerers from going into politics and public service.

It’s against this backdrop that we demand a full apology on behalf of Dr. Omar Boamah from the Nadowli Kaleo constituency while cautioning him to desist from passing comments which have the potential of undermining the intellectual capacities of people with physical impairment.

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