President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday arrived in Parliament to a grandeur security to deliver the State of the Nation Address, his maiden one.
The security beef-up, in and around Parliament, was manifested at all the entry points to the law making house as armed security men ensured people who accessed the facility were vigorously screened.
After the pre address ceremonies, which included the inspection of a Guard of Honour and taking the national salute at the entrance of the House, the President was ushered into the Chamber by Majority and Minority leaders, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu respectively.
In a deep blue suit and a white shirt and tie to match, the President was welcomed into the chamber of Parliament by cheers from the majority caucus of the House, obviously to taunt their opponents in the minority.
After taking the Presidential seat, sandwiched between Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Acting Chief Justice, His Lordship William Atuguba, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, officially informed members of the presence of the President and welcomed him to deliver his address.
Mounting the podium, the cheers from his majority side grew louder with jeers from the minority group.
Early on in his delivery, some Minority MPs waved placards with the inscription “Stop the lawlessness” when the President was touching on the seizure of state assets by people believed to be sympathisers of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) following the change of government, a thing he condemned.
The delivery seemed interactive as the President occasionally responded to the jeers from the Minority caucus half way through into the one hour long address.
On one occasion, President Akufo-Addo pointed at the Minority side and said “you know its true”, referring to a bad economy he has inherited, when the Minority caucus jeered following remarks that the economy was in a “bad way.”
Silence, however, returned to the chamber and was sustained for the rest of the delivery.
In his trademark white handkerchief beneath his cufflinks, President Akufo-Addo painted a gloomy picture of the economy he inherited but said with the competence of his team, the economy would be turned around for the better.
In attendance were former Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur, former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, current and former ministers of state and the diplomatic corps.
The House will return today to debate on the address.
By Yaw Kyei and Julius Yao Petetsi