President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday delivered his maiden second term state of the nation address to Parliament amidst cheers, jeers and heckling from Members of the House.
Held in the makeshift parliamentary structure to ensure spacing in line with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety protocols, the Minority caucus additionally displayed placards calling for the reinstatement of Daniel Yaw Domelevo, the Auditor-General who has been directed to go on retirement.
The President arrived to a grandeur security, inspected the guard of honour before making his way into the structure in which he was sworn in on January 7, 2021.
Received by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, President Akufo-Addo entered the chamber of the House at 02:25 pm to deliver his message in line with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.
Arriving to an all white wearing Majority group, indicative of their victory at the election petition, President Akufo-Addo was spotted in a black suit, a white shirt, his trademark handkerchief on his wrist and light blue tie to match.
The colourful gathering was attended by Justices of the Supreme Court, the diplomatic corps, traditional authorities, members of the Council of State, the clergy and security chiefs.
Called upon to deliver his message after his presence was announced to a well attended Parliament, President Akufo-Addo ruffled the feathers of the Minority caucus when he reminded them that his election at the 2020 polls, which was challenged by the NDC’s flagbearer, John Mahama, has been upheld by the apex court.
“My victory has unanimously been upheld in a well reasoned and excellent ruling by the seven-member panel of the Supreme Court,” he said to cheers and waving of white handkerchief from the Majority group.
Infuriated by the reminder of the President, the Minority caucus pulled out their placards some of which read “Bring Back Domelevo, leave Domelevo to fight corruption, stop fighting those fighting corruption” amongst others.
At one point in time, the President had to make a gesture to the Minority caucus to “open your eyes and you will see the development projects” when his claim of every district seeing a bit of his developmental agenda was called into question.
According to President Akufo-Addo, his government has been able to deliver most of its 2016 electioneering promises, a reason his mandate was renewed at the polls in December 2020.
Amongst some of the sectors of the economy the President went hard on included the fight against COVID-19 and the economic receivers programme, health infrastructure, education, governance amongst others.
In a subtle jab to second a motion for the adjournment of the House in preparation of the debate of the message today, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the President was evasive on the true state of the nation.
The Tamale South MP said the President’s indication to reintroduce the botched Agyapa Minerals Royalty deal only makes him unrepentant after the deal was roundly rejected by civil society.
He wondered why there was no position taken by the President on the raging LGBTQI matter, no indication of the debt portfolio of the country, the silence of the President regarding the recorded deaths in the election amongst other ‘critical’ areas of national concern.
“Mr Speaker, we will debate this message and the President’s record. Four years ago, he told us how much debt he inherited; what is the state of our national debt,” he asked to loud laughs from his caucus members.
The debate on the message is expected to commence today and end tomorrow.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI