At the last State of the Nation Address (SONA), President John Mahama took the nation on a tour of his achievements in the four years that he was president.
At the first SONA, President Akufo-Addo, sources say, will take the nation on another tour which will be the reality of Ghana’s economy before he ends with his signature theme of hope.
President John Mahama pointed out in his last address to Parliament in January, ” I will allow history to be the judge of how I have served our nation, how well I have done my part in running my lap of the relay”.
For the NPP government, this judge may have come early, as sections of the Ghanaian public tune their ears to what some say is the ‘true state of the nation address’.
President Akufo-Addo will start off with the ‘real state of the macro-economy’, Member of Parliament for Ofoase/Ayirebi Kojo Oppong Nkrumah told Joy FM.
Although President Akufo-Addo’s government is yet to table a budget, there is pressure on the government to table a clear and detailed plan on how it intends to fund its free SHS campaign promise.
President Akufo-Addo announced it will provide free SHS this September. But a huge disagreement over funding source means, the issue may need further and better particulars, some of which is expected to be revealed in the SONA 2017.
Government spokespersons have said the difference in this year’s SONA is that it will not be a sector-by-sector account of the state of the nation.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah summed up the style pf today’s SONA. He said it will “connect the dots between where we are and where we are going as a nation”.
He said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, the speech will be ‘light on form’, it will cut out ‘theatrics’ but it will be ‘deep on substance’.
The NPP MP said the speech will not just be a lamentation of the past failures of the previous government but will see the government take the bull by the horns.
Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah contributing to the predictions into the direction of the speech, said it will touch on jobs – a key theme of the 2016 campaign.
Quotables and Highlights of Mahama’s last SONA
A word count analysis of the speech gives an idea of what the president may have wanted to emphasise.
Health = 19
Water = 17
Projects = 16
Education = 14
Power = 11
Corruption = 2
Quotes of the last SONA presented by former president John Mahama
“Every President inherits the unfinished work of his predecessor. Every president benefits from the seeds planted by his predecessor, seeds that could not be sown during his predecessor’s tenure.”
I first entered this house as MP for Bole Bamboi in January 1997. It was, perhaps not coincidentally, the same year that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo entered as MP for Akyem Abuakwa. Taking breaks from the business of the house to grab something to eat at the snack bar, Nana Addo always stood at the end of the counter, his signature white handkerchief tucked into his sleeve. “Johnny” he would shout in greeting as he preferred to call me. Incidentally we both served three terms in this house, departing together in January 2009.”
“This is how long I have known the president-elect and worked with him. I have the utmost respect for him.”
“We cannot afford as a nation to wish or hope for the failure of any president and his or her government. Ensuring accountability is not the same as levelling insults or encouraging apathy.”
“Partisanship for its own sake, in the end, is no better than dictatorship. If we look around the world, we can so clearly see the deep divide that blind partisanship is creating in nations with democracies far older than ours.”
“Already, [partisanship] has taken a toll on our morale and our sense of optimism. It has given way to a cynicism that is as dangerous to the incoming political party as it was to ours.”