Mahama’s timely intervention prevents Minority from boycotting 2024 SONA

John Mahama

The timely intervention of former President John Dramani Mahama, Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), prevented the NDC Parliamentary Minority Caucus from boycotting President Akufo-Addo’s penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament.

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader and NDC Member of Parliament for Ellembele, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after the presentation of the Address to Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Buah said the members of the Minority were not happy with a lot of decisions the Government had taken.

He noted that the responsibility of Parliament was to take Bills through very rigorous processes before passing them into law, after which the President must assent to them.

“The President, for example, is holding the Witchcraft Bill and has signaled certain Bills that he intends not to sign, that is an affront to the Parliament of Ghana,” he said.

“And we wanted to really let him know that in this Parliament he can’t trample on us, we represent the people of Ghana.”

“But obviously after engagement with the Leader of our Party, we decided to come back. But at least he (the President) heard the message that we are not going to allow him to trample upon the independence of Parliament.”

At the time President Akufo-Addo arrived in Parliament House around 1000 hours, the Minority side of the Chamber was empty, while the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Majority Caucus was in full attendance.

The absence of the Minority at initial stage led to a delay of about one hour in commencement of business in the House.

However, after the behind-the-scenes negotiations, at about 1100 hours, the NDC Minority began trickling into the Chamber until around 1145 hours when their side of the House was full before the presentation of the SONA began.

Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution imposes an obligation on Members of Parliament (MPs), the Speaker and the Judiciary to receive the President’s Message on the State of the Nation.

Source: GNA

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