The announcement by the Majority Leader in Parliament yesterday that the President’s State of the Nation Address, which was to take place tomorrow, has been put on hold till Tuesday, February 25, was greeted with a thunderous ‘Tweeaaaa’ by the Minority members, saying “President has run away.”
The postponement also comes in the wake of intended strike action by junior staff of Parliament, who are agitating for a new salary structure comparable with that of their colleague senior staff members.
The Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, had attributed the postponement to ‘unforeseen circumstances.’
On hearing this, the Minority members claimed that President John Mahama had run away from what they termed as his “Tweeaaa State of the Nation Address,” with Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Leader of the Minority group, saying that he saw the writings on the wall long ago that tomorrow’s State of the Nation address would not take place as publicized, and even told the Minority caucus about the possible postponement when they met last week.
The MP for Subin, Isaac Osei, stood on a point of order and told the Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, that he was getting increasingly worried over the use of the word “Tweeaa” in Parliament, and wanted the Speaker’s direction as to whether the word was parliamentary and should be allowed to be used.
“Mr Speaker, when the Majority leader announced that the President’s State of the Nation Address had been rescheduled, it was greeted with a huge ‘Tweeaa.’ The other day in Parliament some other members ‘tweeaaaed’, today they are ‘tweeaaing’, tomorrow they will ‘tweeaa,’ but up till now we don’t even know who said ‘tweeaa’, so Mr. Speaker, I want your direction as to whether the word ‘tweeaa’ is parliamentary or not.”
Mr. Adjaho, in a response, said the word ‘tweeaa’ has been too disruptive to business and therefore ruled that it was unparliamentary and should therefore not be used in Parliament any more.
Meanwhile, feverish preparations are underway to beautify Parliament before the President comes to address Members on Tuesday.
When DAILY GUIDE interviewed some MPs on what to expect in the address; they were generally concerned about the current economic situation in the country and wanted the President to adequately prescribe solution to it.
Most of the MPs on the Majority National Democratic Congress (NDC) side declined to speak on the matter.
MP for Ketu South and Minister of State, Fiifi Kwetey, said he was a member of the executive and would therefore not want to comment on the matter.
The MP for Amenfi Central, George Arthur, told DAILY GUIDE that he needed a day or two to craft his words carefully before he would speak on the matter.
The MP for Dade Kotopon and former Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Nii Amasah Namoale, was blunt in his response saying, he did not know what the President would be telling Parliament and so he would not predict anything.
The Majority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, however, opened up to Daily Guide and said he expected the President to speak on nagging issues about the economy, especially the “dollarization” of the cedi, and tell Parliament what steps the government was taking to address the challenge.
The NPP Members were generally very much concerned about the deteriorating economic conditions in the country with MP for Bosomtwe, Simon Osei-Mensah, raising concern about the depreciating cedi, rising inflation, rising interest rate and the huge national debt.
“I expect the President to tell the House what proper legal backing could be given to the supposed infrastructure fund so that it is not misused as was the case of GYEEDA.”