Opposition Leader, who turns 71 in the next few days, is increasingly getting tired and less attentive to his surroundings, irrespective of who is watching or where he is.
A prove of this, manifested itself yesterday during the all-important State of the Nation Address by the President, John Dramani Mahama, when Nana Akufo-Addo, who has been at “the hurly burly of frontline politics” was seen busily sleeping, instead of remaining awake to appreciate the current state of the country he is seeking to lead come January 7, 2017.
The Herald’s secret lenses yesterday captured the NPP leader inside the Public Gallery of Parliament, virtually dead to his immediate environment. He was woken up many times by his aides, as well as Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, his running mate, but slipped back to bed, despite the noise around him.
Dr. Bawumia at a point was trying hard to keep his boss awake by getting him to read something in a brochure, but the old man could not stay awake for long.
Nana Addo’s situation clearly epitomizes the biblical quotation captured in Matthew 26:41 in the New Testament that “the soul is willing, but the body is weak”.
Yesterday’s event was hugely attended by students, businessmen, heads of the state security agencies, Supreme Court Justices, members of the diplomatic corps and heads of state agencies. It was live on all television networks and beamed around the world.
But this is not the first time that Nana Addo, has been caught on camera sleeping at an important public event.
Recently, during the memorial lecture of his maternal uncle, Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, one of the founding fathers of the United Party (UP) tradition, which gave birth to NPP, he was caught busily sleeping next to ex-President John Kufuor.
The ex-president was at a moment also caught laughing at his onetime Minister of Justice and later Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Nana Addo, yesterday sat between his running mate and ex-Minister of Energy Joseph Adda with his security detail, including an ex-Service man, Captain Koda.
At yesterday’s national event, the Chamber of Parliament erupted in applause when President Mahama briefly suspended his 2015 State of the Nation Address to
acknowledge the presence of his political rival, Nana Akufo-Addo.
The moment came when President Mahama, informed Parliament of plans to improve the road network at Kyebi in the Eastern Region, which also happens to be the hometown of Nana Akufo-Addo.
At that juncture, the President joked that he would travel to Kyebi in the company of Akufo-Addo to inspect the project.
“I would want to invite my good friend, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to join me as we inspect the upgrading of the Kyebi township roads,” he said.
President Mahama went on to add that having been informed that Akufo-Addo was in Parliament, he wanted to acknowledge the presence of his “friend”, with whom he had been in Parliament for 12 years.
“Respect, Nana,” the President stated, eliciting cheers and applause from the Members of Parliament (MPs).
Akufo-Addo, responded to the President’s shout-out by bowing slightly, with a broad smile illuminating his face saying “thank you! thank you”. He went back to sleep after this.
This comes months after the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panin, decried the state of the roads in the region, describing them as a death trap, instead of an access road to cart goods to other parts of the country.
Osagyefo and some of his chiefs, accompanied by some Members of Parliament (MP), clad in traditional war attire, toured a number of bad roads in the area to ascertain how negative it was affecting productivity.
They called on government to step-up efforts towards its reconstruction to enhance business activities and the safety of the travelling public.
Last year, in a historic fashion, President Mahama commissioned the Kyebi Water Treatment Plant in the East Akyem Municipality.
The plant was part of six projects at Akyem Asafo, Apedwa in the East Akyem Municipality, Kwabeng and Anyinam in the Atiwa District and Osenase in the West Akyem District, which were constructed at the cost of 7.9 million Euros.
The president’s promise to fix the Kyebi roads, appears to be in response to his critics, who accuse him of borrowing too much, he also replied by saying “yes I may be borrowing but I am working with it”.
The address, his third touched on almost everything, especially the energy crisis and revealed the expansion of the Tema Motorway to a six lane road with four interchanges.
On the on-going energy crisis facing the nation, President Mahama, promised to solve it completely.
He said, in the past, successive governments have managed the way out of the energy crisis, but he plans to end it.
“I do not intend to manage the situation. I intend to fix it. I John Dramani Mahama, will fix the energy situation”, he said.
According to him, Ghana will need to double power production every eight years to meet the demands of citizens.
“We’re working on a proposal to make solar energy available to micro-enterprises & household. We are working on a proposal that would make solar power available to barbers, hairdressers, dressmakers and other such micro entrepreneurs.”
He added that the “new Ministry of power is working on proposals to restructure the power sector beginning with the VRA and the Bui Power Authority.”
President Mahama, said he would hold the Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor to his publicly stated deadline to fix the power situation by the end of 2015.
He commended the Energy Commission for their initiative to replace old refrigerators with energy efficient ones.