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The Minority in Parliament on Thursday walked out of Parliament when the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo entered the main chamber to address the legislator.
Dressed in all black, the Minority National Democratic Congress waved placard with the inscription “Free and fair election is not negotiable”.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu had minutes before leading his side to walk out joined the leadership of Parliament to welcome President Akufo-Addo and the Vice President Dr. Bawumia, and ushered them into the main chamber of the house.
As usual, the national anthem was blurred by the security brass band as people gathered in the house sang along. Immediately after that, all were expected to resume their seat, but the Minority would continue standing and kept repeating the last two lines of the national anthem: “…And help us to resist oppressors’ rule; With all our will and might evermore.”
The NDC Members of Parliament packed their documents, some tucked theirs under the armpit and started filing out of the main chamber.
The unamused Majority New Patriotic Party booed their colleagues from the opposite side. Amidst rhythmic clapping, they also sang “Away! Away!! Away!!!….” to chase them out.
Interestingly, whilst the Minority boycotted the President’s 4th State of the Nation Address in Parliament to Ghanaians, the founder of the NDC, former President Jerry John Rawlings and the wife Nana Konadu remained seated inside the chamber behind the Minority’s seats.
National Chairman and General Secretary of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah respectively also continued to stay in the gallery to listen to the president, albeit for a while.
Also in the house were the former president J.A. Kufuor; wife of former president Atta Mills, Naadu Mills; wife of former Vice President Amissah-Arthur, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, members of the diplomatic corps, among other dignitaries from Ghana and overseas.
While the Minority is away, Majority would not allow the seats to remain vacant. In their numbers, some of them swarmed to take the seats, joined by Ministers of State who were in the main chamber for the address.
It is however not clear if the boycott has any relation with earlier threat by the Minority to boycott the 2020 State of the Nation Address if the government fail to pay their share of the Common Fund for the third quarter of 2019.
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana