Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, unperturbed by the Minority National Democratic Congress
(NDC) walkout of Parliament when he was in the chamber to present his State of
the Nation Address (SONA), yesterday asked the Majority New Patriotic Party
(NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) to occupy the empty seats left by the NDC.
the remarks of the President, coupled with the excitement among the Majority
members who sang in merriment, the walkout was a failed project.
Akan song, ‘Nyame bↃhyɛ no abamu awie’, to wit ‘God’s
promise has been fulfilled’, was rending the air from the side of the NPP MPs when
the NDC MPs started filing out.
was amazing why the NDC MPs turned up in the first place given that they came
in with placards some of which read ‘We Want Credible Elections’, and many thought
the placards would be displayed as the address progressed.
premonition appeared to suggest that, perhaps, the NDC MPs would lose all their
seats when the next Parliament is constituted.
Majority To Minority
No sooner had
the NDC MPs walked out than their NPP counterparts, some of them ministers of state,
started occupying their seats.
NPP MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, took the seat of the Minority Leader,
Haruna Iddrisu; the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Kofi
Dzamesi, occupied the seat of the Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi; the Oti Regional Minister,
Kwasi Owusu Yeboa, took the seat of the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak
Muntaka, and the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah,
sat on that of the first Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim —
all on the front bench of the Minority side.
As predicted, the
NDC MPs were led by the Minority leader in an embarrassing fashion out of the
chamber after the President had been ushered in by the Speaker, Prof. Mike
Ocquaye, and the national anthem played.
members, all dressed in black, repeatedly chanted the last stanza of the
national anthem “And Help Us To Resist Oppressors’ Rule With Our Will And Might
For Ever More” as they filed away from the chamber with members of the
diplomatic corps seated in the public gallery watching in awe.
NPP MPs then shouted noisily, “Away! Away!”
As the NDC
MP’s filed out of the House, NPP MPs then started singing E.T. Mensah’s
classical highlife song, “All for you!” to signal the President that he has the
floor to deliver his SONA.
The NDC MPs left
behind strapped to their seats placards some of which read ‘Drop the Loot and
Share Voter Register’, ‘Bring Back the Excavators and not New Register’ and ‘We
Now Know Why Charlotte Was Sacked’.
Clearing the House
As soon as
they left, the first Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Matthew Nyindam, and some
angry NPP MPs went to remove all the inscriptions on the seats, paving the way
for some members of the Majority to cross the aisle to occupy the vacant seats.
members quickly retired into their offices in the Job 600 Office Block coming
out only after the delivery of the SONA for a press conference to justify their
missing at the SONA yesterday was former President John Dramani Mahama and his
checks showed that he was in a town called Ahibenso in the newly created
Western North Region on a campaign trial.
He even posted
his rally on social media and asked followers to pass comments at the same time
that the President was addressing the nation.
All the other former
presidents and many dignitaries including Vice-President
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, his wife Samira, Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah and the
diplomatic corps were there to listen to the President.
and former President JJ Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, former
President John Kufuor and even the wives of the late President J.E.A. Mills,
Naadu Mills, and that of late Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, Matilda, were
The Minority Leader,
Haruna Iddrisu, who addressed the media, said bizarrely that the utterances of
the President on his wishes to have a one-party Parliament are very unfortunate,
stressing that Article 3 of the Constitution makes it practically and
democratically impossible for a one-party state.
utterance gives credence to our fear that Nana Akufo-Addo wants to have a
one-party state by weakening the largest opposition party, NDC,” the Minority
He said the
boycott was to register their protest against the ruling NPP elites whom he
claimed wanted to suppress freedom of expression and threaten Ghana’s growing
He said the opposition NDC would not allow itself to be suppressed and bullied and would strongly resist the tyrannical rule of President Akufo-Addo.
He said as
long as the President and the Electoral Commission (EC) are adamant in
maintaining the current voters’ register, they would use every lawful means to
protest against the EC and the government.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, after the President’s delivery, said the House would welcome the participation of the Minority members in the debate on the SONA which would begin on February 24 despite the fact that they did not sit through the delivery of the SONA.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr