SONA: Afenyo-Markin serves notice to debate minority with lamentations of Mahama’s 2014, 2015, 2016 addresses

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The Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin has told the Minorty that he is going to compile the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by former President John Dramani Mahama in 2014, 2015, and 2016 when he was in office to debate the opposition lawmakers on the 2024 SONA delivered by President Akufo-Addo.

Afenyo-Markin said he observed that the Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson took several notes during President Akufo-Addo’s delivery on Tuesday, February 27, and wondered what he was writing.

He said this while moving a motion for the debate to be scheduled for Wednesday.

“We are ready to debate Mr President’s message, considering the situation we find ourselves in as a country, we are ready to debate this message now. However, as has been the practice, members will want to prepare, I noticed the Minority Leader was writing notes.

“We will face him with optimism and remind him of the lamentations of 2014, 2015, and 2016.”

He further asked the Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson to second the motion to debate the address on Wednesday, he said.

Dr. Forson accordingly seconded the motion after criticizing the president for not touching on the unemployment situation in the country.

“Unemployment is at a critical point, yet we did not hear a word from our president about this matter. The state of our nation is hopeless,” he said among other things.

He added, “I second the motion.”

The speaker, Alban Bagbin accordingly adjourned the sitting to Wednesday, February 28 after the ‘eyes’ won the voice vote for adjournment.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo among other things stated that the 1992 Constitution has entrusted executive powers into the hands of the president.

To that end, he said “the buck stops with the president. He or she takes the blame for the challenges.”

President Akufo-Addo said this while delivering the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Tuesday, February 27.

He stressed that the president takes the blame for all the challenges the country is facing.

He said “The president and his appointees are not universally loved, and it would be strange and unproductive if they were. It is probably worthwhile making what I consider to be important observations at this stage on some of the issues in our public discourse, in the lead-up to the elections for a new President.

“Under the Constitution, the executive power of the state is vested in the President of the Republic. He or she is the Executive. There is no ambiguity about where the buck stops when it comes to responsibility for what happens in the government. It stops with the President, he or she has ultimate responsibility. It would be an unwise President that would pretend to have all the answers and refuse the advice of his officials, but the fact remains that the President holds the executive power.

“The Cabinet, and the Ministers of State all act in an advisory manner. Of course, a member of the government might take an idea, be it generated by the President or the official or a committee, and turn it into a huge success, and the honors would be claimed or shared where public perception falls. But, ultimately, the President is responsible, and, therefore, takes the credit or the blame for whatever happens in his or her government. Let me make a second point. The programmes that come from the Executive benefit from the rigorous public examination and debates to which they are subjected.”

His comments come at a time when Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said that the Economic Management Team (EMT) which he heads does not have decision-making powers.

Dr Bawumia said the EMT only advised the cabinet.

As head of the EMT, he had been blamed for the economic challenges that Ghana is facing.

But delivering his address at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Wednesday, February 7, Dr Bawumia said “Thankfully, I was appointed as chair of the EMT, as a sub-committee to Cabinet we do not have decision-making powers, but I am very proud of the quality of advice we have been providing over the years to Cabinet.

“As vice president, I was asked by the president to assist in solving the problems that were inhibiting the economy. my approach was to help formalize the economy through digitalization as stated in our 2016 manifesto,” he explained.





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