Accra, Feb 26, GNA – The Majority and Minority in Parliament Thursday expressed varied views on the State of the Nation address delivered by President John Dramani Mahama.
While the Majority described it as an ‘excellent message embodying the spirit and soul of the nation’, the Minority said the address was a ‘wish list that will not address the socio-economic troubles of Ghana’.
President Mahama, who’s third annual State of the Nation Address, dwelt extensively on infrastructural development, pledging to build a resilient economy to put the country on the path of growth and prosperity through realistic and pragmatic interventions and also promised to put an end to the current power crisis by the end of the year.
Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin who spoke to the Ghana News Agency described the occasion as ‘one of the best State of the Nation proceeding ever witnessed in the history of the Fourth Republic’.
‘Looking at the ambience of the Chamber, the colour and contents of the message which successfully reflected the true state of the nation, there could only be hope for Ghana in the future’.
Mr Bagbin said even though the President admitted that there were challenges and that it was not all smooth sailing, ‘he has given a clear indication of where we are and where we are going’.
He said President Mahama clearly pointed out how Ghana would surmount all the present difficulties, urging Ghanaians not to give in to despondency but to let the ‘resilient spirit of the Ghanaian’ to rise up to scale the mountain of challenges.
The Majority Leader said the president was also candid to admit that he had not met some of his promises, and that there was good reason for skepticism but that there was hope only in collective action.
He said the President’s address rallied Ghanaians to unite and to eschew negative tendencies that would abuse the indomitable spirit of the Ghanaian.
Mr Bagbin was particularly pleased that the President asked Ghanaians not to allow divisive things like ethnicity and religion to separate them but to focus on positives that would move the nation forward.
He said the Majority would also hold the President accountable to his promise to Ghanaians to ‘ban darkness’ from Ghana, urging the people to place more emphasis on the successes of the government that outweighed the negatives.
The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu on his part said the President did not lay out a concrete plan to solve the many problems the country faces, but only catalogued a wish list that would not immediately address the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the Ghana.
‘The nation is distressed and we must accept that we need emergency measures to regalvanise development efforts…..If a person is in an emergency situation, you need to revive the person’, he said.
‘I was looking to hear him (President Mahama) gives us emergency measures to revive the economy but he was stating medium to long term solutions which is good, but what we need now is immediate measures to revive the economy’.
Mr Kyei-Mensah Bonsu said though the Statement was very strong on infrastructure, it was silent on what should make the economy of Ghana strong.
He said the minority was disappointed that the President avoided the important issues that affected the daily lives of Ghanaians and the economy, like high taxation, inflation, depreciation of the Cedi, unemployment, low standards of living and the rising cost of living.
On good governance and transparency, the Minority Leader said the President had not shown the commitment to end the culture of impunity by people in his government, adding there were indications that corruption was rising by the day.
‘We need a bold and decisive leader to confront corruption and to break that cycle, which is tearing at the fabric of this country’.
He said the Minority will on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 give its own account of the true State of the Nation.
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