SONA delay is unprecedented – Agbodza

Kwame Agbodza

Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza has raised concerns regarding the delay in addressing the nation by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Mr Agbodza described the situation as unprecedented in the history of the Fourth Republic.

“This is an unprecedented territory. We have never seen a president who is unable to tell us the state of the nation this long. We think that we need a definite date,” he said in Parliament on Friday March 18.

But responding to him, Deputy Majority Leader Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin who is also lawmaker for Effutu said  Mr Akufo-Addo cannot be blamed for the situation.

He explained that the Speaker and leadership in Parliament are yet to settle on a date to be communicated to the President.

“On the statement by honorable Kwame Agbodza to the effect that Mr President had delayed in coming. At the risk of being repetitive and for emphasis, it isn’t Mr President who has delayed in coming. It is the duty of the Speaker and leadership to agree on a date and communicate same to Mr President . That is what is pending and so don’t say that Mr President has delayed.”

The Business Committee of Parliament had said it was still unsure when Mr Akufo-Addo will be in the House to deliver the State of the Nation address.

No date has been fixed after two scheduled dates – Thursday, February 24 and Thursday, March 3 – have been cancelled.

Reading the agenda for the business week ending Friday, March 11, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said the House is being put in order before programming the President to appear.

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He insisted that the president is not out of time and will deliver the address as per Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.

“The President is not out of time,” the Effutu Member of Parliament pointed out.

“He is within time required to come, so we are putting our House in order as a House.

“We will programme Mr President to come.”

But this did not go down well with some Minority MPs, who think there is something fishy ongoing.

“If we have to arrange, is it that the House don’t care. We care to know about the real state of affairs [at the presidency],” stated Buem MP Kofi Iddi Adams.

On his part, Sefwi Juaboso MP Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said President Akufo-Addo is being dodgy because he has no good news for the nation.

“Next week is the seventh week,” he stated. “Mr Speaker, as I speak to you now we don’t even know when the president will be in the House.

“Because it has never happened before except that he has no good news for the nation.”

Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed was alarmed, drawing the attention of the House that this is the first time in the Fourth Republic that such an address has gone into March.

“Deputy Majority Leader, we have been ready since February 24 so don’t put the blame at our doorstep and remember that we have gone more than halfway through this Meeting.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana