President Akufo Addo failure to mention the Office of Special Prosecution and the event leading to the resignation of Martin A.B. K Amidu in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) was strange, the lawmaker for Madina Constituency, Hon Francis Xavier Sosu has said.
According to him, the President in his speech “did not make comment on critical matters such as the state of unemployment in the country, his views on events leading to the resignation of the Special Prosecutor and measures adopted by Government to empower the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP), and his approach to tackle corruption going forward.”
Hon Sosu made the comments in reaction to the President’s State of the Nation address on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
President Akufo Addo in his first state of the nation address in parliament on an assumption of his second term claimed that his re-election is evidence that the electorate believes in his policies and management of the economy.
But the Madina lawmaker said the 2021 SONA delivered by the President, he added leave much to be desire as the President was silent in certain national issues affecting the lives of Ghanaians.
He also accused President Akufo Addo of neglect on human lives to have addressed the nation without mention the shooting incident that left eight persons dead and some injured in the 2020 general elections.
According to him, the incident that has gripped the nation and the victims yet to receive justice remained the darkest side of the nation’s democracy and the President should have to use the message to the nation to assure justice for the families.
Full Comment of Lawyer Francis
2021 SONA LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED – LAWYER FRANCIS-XAVIER SOSU
As a first term Member of Parliament, it is interesting hearing the President of Ghana present the State of the Nations Address in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Whilst it is important to acknowledge that for a continuing Administration, the President speaks on the actual results of critical interventions accomplished by his government, it was equally important to give the true picture of the nation in terms of the economy, education, physical and social infrastructure, among many others.
To this end, the national debt stock which currently stands at GhS286.9 billion as at November 2020, representing 74.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was a critical issue but conspicuous missing in the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
It is also strange that the word “CORRUPTION” was missing in the President’s SONA, particularly when issues of corruption have been very critical due to the directive to proceed on compulsory leave and subsequent retirement of the Auditor General which many believe was politically motivated because his work was exposing corruption in the government of the President.
On a day such as this when the President fulfills his constitutional duty to the People of Ghana through their elected representatives, the President was again silent on the raging issue of LGBTQI+ rights. This was a missed opportunity by the President to lay the debate to rest by not only stating his position on the matter formally, but also propose to introduce the appropriate legislative regime that will permanently settle this debate – just like his commitment to revisit the Agyapa Royalties Agreement.
The President also failed to give a clear indication of the major policy direction or set of directions that will provide a pathway to economic recovery in a post COVID-19 era.
Again, the President did not provide a status report of the Year of Roads 2020 and yet has curiously declared 2021 a Second Year of Roads. How do Ghanaians rely on a promise of Second Year of Roads when the first failed to yield much needed dividends?
The President did not make comments on critical matters such as the state of unemployment in the country, his views on events leading to the resignation of the Special Prosecutor and measures adopted by Government to empower the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP), and his approach to tackle corruption going forward.
In conclusion, it must be noted that the State of the Nation Address (SONA) must not be seen only as a constitutional obligation and yearly tradition, but as an opportunity for the President to report on the real status of the country including the mood of the country, social and economic strength and weaknesses, as well as unveiling the government’s agenda for the coming year to tackle critical challenges facing the nation. If that remains our commitment and desire as a people, then this year’s SONA leaves much to be desired.
LAWYER FRANCIS-XAVIER SOSU