The Minority in Parliament has explained why members did not heckle President John Dramani Mahama as he delivered this year’s State of the Nation address in the House Thursday morning.
According to the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, members recognised that the conduct of business in the House was degenerating any moment a President was in there to deliver an address.
Last year President Mahama in a jest, told heckling MPs: “Herr! Order. I’m not your co-equal” to ask them to keep quiet and listen to him whilst he delivered his second State of the Nation address.
Hence according to the Minority Leader, they imposed on themselves to protect the dignity of the House and of course the Presidency.
But he said, that should not mean that they were “mesmerized” by the President’s address.
Seconding the motion for the House to adjourn sitting after President Mahama had finished delivering his State of the Nation Address, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said, “Mr Speaker, I am in black and majority of my compatriots are in black. The symbolism of it is that,… your Excellency, the nation is in distress.”
“This is ‘dum dum’ and there is just one ‘sor’….”
“Mr Speaker I think for the avoidance of doubt it is important to state for the records that we in this House have agreed to listen to the President in silence.”
“Indeed we are all witnesses to the fact that at a point the conduct of business in this House was degenerating any moment our presidents came. So this is a self-imposition to protect the dignity of the House and of course the Presidency.”
To the Minority Leader, “Mr Speaker, let nobody, tomorrow, come to say that the President so much mesmerized the House that they couldn’t do anything but listen to him in silence.”
Mr Speaker the President has indicated to us that, and he quoted Nelson Mandela that, “the resilience of a person lies in his rising up every time he falls. That statement is most apt, it’s most apt, except Mr Speaker, some falls are avoidable, some falls are avoidable.”
He continued: “Mr Speaker the President told us that we have been here before. Last year he said the same thing that we have been here before as a nation. We wanted to hear from the President that we were there before, that we will put these things behind us… we have a catalog of wishes from the President.”
“But we all know that we have to expect a revised, in fact a reviewed budget. For the first time in the history of the 4th Republic, the nation is awaiting a reviewed budget, that should tell us where we are. We will deal with it.”
The Minority Leader said on Wednesday next week, the true “state of the nation” would be unveiled, and “…we will know where we are as a nation,” This implied that on Wednesday, the Minority side would present to Ghanaians, the state of the nation from their perspective.
On that note the Minority leader seconded the motion for the House to adjourn sitting.
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