SONA message not true reflection – Minority

The Minority says President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s message on the state of the nation did not reflect the true state of the country.

In the message on floor of Parliament in Accra yesterday, pursuant to Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, President Akufo-Addo said despite the economic gloom that has engulfed the country, as caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus disease and lately the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, there was some progress to cheer about because government was taking steps to surmount the challenges.

“The road to recovery will be hard and long, Mr Speaker, but we have started on a good footing by accepting that we are in a difficult place, and are taking the difficult decisions that will get us out,” President Akufo-Addo told the House.

But Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, seconding the motion to adjourn yesterday’s proceedings said the president had lost touch with the reality of the Ghanaian.

“Mr Speaker, we expected the president to deliver the true state of the nation which would reflect the growing hardship and suffering of the Ghanaian people.

“Regrettably, Mr Speaker, the president himself does not have the confidence to talk about the economy of Ghana.”

In the view of Mr Iddrisu, the success reported by the president in the various sectors of the economy including health, education, roads, security amongst others were just a rehatch of the promises that won him the election.

“He is continuing with his promises and slogans. We are prepared and ready to debate them and to prove an alternative government led by John Dramani Mahama.

“So Mr Speaker, with our President willfully downplaying hardship reality,  I bet to second the motion for adjournment, ” Mr Iddrisu said to cheers from his side. 

Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza, speaking with the Ghanaian Times said the president’s claim that he has constructed more roads – 10,875 kilometres of new roads than any other government in the history of Ghana was a falsehood.

“Mr Speaker, in the five years of my government, so far, more roads have been built, improved and upgraded than at any other equivalent period under any government in the history of Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

Gleening through the Ministry of Roads’ list of completed road projects between 2017 and May 2021, the Adaklu MP said the total of roads done under the watch of President Akufo-Addo including asphalt overlays, gravelling, revealing, spot improvement all make up 4,263.37 kilometers.

To him, what the president did was to present a “partial” state of the nation address because “this is not the true state of affairs in the roads sector.”

But the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin said the president was “very sincere, and candid with the facts.”

The president, Afenyo-Markin, MP, Effutu said was comprehensive with his address by admitting the challenges with the economy, proffered solutions and made the call for Ghanaians to rally for the actualisation of the vision of the government.

Insisting that the government actually did over 10,000 kilometers of roads, Mr Afenyo-Markin said more roads would be constructed with a dedicated source of funding road infrastructure in the Electronic Transfer Levy and called on the Minority to support it.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has called on the House and by extension Ghanaians to stand united as admonished by the president in his address.

“Mr Speaker, as the president shared with us, we should stand united and be transparent and conciliatory and move forward as a nation,” the Suame MP said as he moved for the adjournment of the House. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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