And Ignores Critical National Issues In SONA
President Nana Akufo-Addo, yesterday went into a frenzy showering praises on his ministers at his second State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in Parliament, while critical national issues, including the ever-increasing prices of petroleum product, the recent hawking of grenades in the streets of Accra and the “One District One Factory” policy, were left unattended to.
To the surprise of many, what he was interested in, was how to heap praises at his appointees who had filled the August House to listen to him.
While, the entire nation sat behind their television and radio set to listen to what the State of the Nation had to offer this year, Mr. Akufo-Addo, decided to use adjectives such as charismatic, indefatigable, hardworking to describe his favourite ministers.
Ministers such as the his cousin, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who is being challenged by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for his role in a bond he issued, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, and Education Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South, Mathew Opoku Prempeh, were on the score sheet of the president.
The president, whose address had high expectations, failed to speak about water, which has become scarce and has led to the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), rationing the essential commodity in parts of the country.
He was unable to give the total number of jobs his administration has created, regardless of the fact that his childhood friend and Food and Agricultural Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto, has said that his ministry has created a disputed 745, 000 jobs under the Planting for Food and Jobs in the space of one year.
The President, neither spoke of the daily petroleum increment which necessitated a demonstration in Accra on Wednesday, or calls on him to remove the various taxes on petroleum products.
He also failed to mention electricity bills vis-à-vis his 2016 election promises to drastically reduce it, because the tariffs had become higher than rent in the country.
Mr. Akufo-Addo, also did not mention the status of his promised One Village One Dam project, especially the Ekumfi Pineapple Juice Factory.
On security, aside saying his government was purchasing some vehicles for the Ghana police service, he did not mentioned the rampaging NPP thugs; namely the Invincible Forces, Kandahar Boys, Bolga Bulldogs, the Delta Forces among others, who had taken the nations by storm beating public servants and destroying public properties across the country.
He also failed to mention the recent grenades found on the streets of Accra and assure the citizens of their security, and arrests and trial of those involved.
He also ignored the attack on the Kwabenya police station and the murder of the Police Inspector Emmanuel Ashilevi.
The Agogo Fulani menace and the clashes between the security service and cattle owners also did not make it into the 2018 SONA.
At the end of his over one hour speech, the likes of petroleum consumers, industrial workers, hair dressers, barbers, and so on, he told earlier in January he had reduced their electricity tariffs, had nothing.
President Akufo-Addo, went after the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) suggesting they no longer recognizes its founder, former president Jerry John Rawlings.
He said this because, NDC MPs, yesterday refused to cheer Mr. Rawlings when he [Akufo-Addo] acknowledged the former President’s presence in Parliament during the State of the Nation Address.
The majority members of parliament, gave a welcoming cheer to support former president John Kufuor, when Mr. Akufo-Addo, acknowledged him.
President Akufo-Addo, expected the NDC MPs to extend a similar courtesy to Mr. Rawlings, but the cheer, in the President’s view, wasn’t enthusiastic enough.
An apparently shocked President Akufo-Addo turned to the speaker said “…Mr. Speaker that’s the way of the world; the Founder of the party, is no longer recognized by the members of the party”.
The minority MPs, also demonstrated their indifference toward the former first couple, when they hooted at the former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, when President Akufo-Addo acknowledged her.
Mrs. Agyeman Rawlings fell out with the NDC before the 2012 elections.
She later broke away from the NDC, formed the National Democratic Party (NDP) and contested the 2016 elections.