The Minority side in Ghana’s Parliament have taken a swipe at the President Akufo Addo led Government for failing to programme the President to address the nation according the demands of the Constitution.

According to the Minority, the Leadership of the House keeps changing the date for the State of the Nation Address (SONA) because the President has nothing good to tell the nation.

Since the beginning of the first meeting, the date for the President to address the House has been changed twice already with no definite date announced yet.

Article 67 of the 1992 constitution indicates that, “The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before a dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation.”

The Minority made up of Members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have therefore asked the Majority Leadership to send a reminder to the President that the first meeting of Parliament has gone past almost half its term and nearing its end but Parliament is yet to be given a definite date when the President will be addressing the House on the State of the Nation.

The issue gained currency on the Floor of Parliament on Friday, March 4, 2022 when the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin, informed the House during the presentation of the Business Statement for the week ahead that Parliament is yet to put its House in order before inviting the President.

The Minority did not take kindly the statement by the Deputy Majority Leader because according to them, he appears to be putting the blame for the delay at the doorstep of Parliament when they have been waiting for President since the first date was fixed at February 24th.

The Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, pointed out that there has not been such a delay in the delivery of SONA in the history of the Fourth Republic.

“My colleague should know that this is the first time in the history of the Fourth Republic the State of the Nation’s Address has run into March. It has never happened before. We knew the President was coming on the 3rd of March, that was yesterday. It was supposed to have been 24th of February, then it was changed to 3rd. Deputy Majority Leader, we have been ready since 24th to receive the President. So, don’t put the blame at our door step,” he indicated.

The Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Minta Akandoh on his part, further pressed for a definite date to be given for the President to come and address the House.

“As I speak to you now, we don’t even know when he [the President] is coming to address the House. And the Leader tells us that we are preparing ourselves, he should be able to tell us when the President will be on this floor, because it has never happened before. Except that he has no good news for the nation.

“Mr. Speaker, if he had good news for the nation he would be running to come and tell us. So, Mr. Speaker, the Leader should be bold enough to tell us when the President will be on the Floor of the House,” he observed.

In his response, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin, reemphasized that the President is very anxious to address the House but it is the Leadership of Parliament which is failing to find a suitable date for the him to visit.

“As a House, Leadership in Charge of Government Business is to liaise with the Minority Leadership to programme Mr. President to come. And all I am saying is, when I use the phrase ‘we are yet to put our house in order’, I don’t mean it in its literalist form, shape and understanding.

“I mean to say that we have not concluded on a firm date for Mr. President. Suffix to say that Mr. President is anxious to come. We would conclude on a good date and also consult Mr. Speaker.”

Source: Clement Akoloh

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