President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday delivered his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament stating that he would not do self appraisal but would allow history to judge his performance in governance.
He said:”Politics is about continuity and the desire to advance the development agenda of the country and I believe I have played my part diligently during my tenure of office.”
The SONA gives the sitting President the opportunity to tell the citizens, what government has done for their advancement and other measures, programmes and projects that were underway for the benefit of all.
Having given similar addresses in 2013, 2014 and 2015, this SONA served as the last for President Mahama as President of the Republic as he is handing over power on Saturday, January 7 this year.
The programme was also attended by Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor, Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
President Mahama said although, multi-partisanship was essential for the growth and development of democracy and governance, there was the need to avoid the use of entrenched positions to create unbridled political division.
“Belonging to different political parties is acceptable, but when people take advantage of that to break our moral fibre through insults and other abusive languages it becomes another thing.”
President Mahama said the essence of continuity in governance was to make the citizens feel comfortable with the rate of development irrespective of which political party was in power.
“President Jerry John Rawlings during his tenure introduced some economic reform programmes, President John Agyekum Kufuor introduced the Highly Indebted Poor Countries programme that brought about a lot of dividends and the late President John Evans Atta Mills and my administrations have also brought in a lot of economic reforms and that’s what I am talking about.”
On President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, President Mahama said the two of them had worked together since 1997 when they both entered Parliament as Members of Parliament for their respective constituencies and he had since developed a lot of respect for the President-elect.
He said as politicians with different political backgrounds it was only normal for them to carry out ‘political exchanges’ that were useful for democracy, but now that he had lost, he would continue to wish Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo success in his term of office.
On transport and roads, President Mahama said his administration had built the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, expanded the Tamale and Kumasi Airports and began work on the Ho and Wa Airports.
He said expansion programmes at the Tema and Takoradi ports had reached advanced stages and would create a number of jobs and reduce the number of days in clearing goods.