Parliament corrects alleged misrepresentations during SONA 

Parliament has corrected some alleged misrepresentations published by some media houses during the recent State of the Nation Address delivered by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, February 27 on the Floor of the House. 

A press release issued by the Media Relations Department, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, Accra, isaid: “A light-hearted comment about the Chief of Staff, when she was being introduced by the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin was taken out of context, leading to misrepresentations and reports of him allegedly endorsing the chief of staff as “the beacon of hope and support for Ghanaians from all walks of life.” 

“The Speaker is also alleged to have expressed gratitude to the Chief of Staff for “her pivotal role in the management of the affairs of the country,” the release added. 

It explained that while the competence of Madam Frema Akosua Osei Opare, the Chief of Staff was not in doubt, the alleged statements were not made by the Speaker. 

The release added: “It is important to note that her introduction by the Speaker as part of acknowledgement of her presence was not for any political endorsement, as some publications in the media have attempted to do.” 

The release also pointed out that another alleged publication, which was an editorial by the Daily Guide newspaper, accused the Speaker of Parliament of partisanship and called him out to shed his political colours, as he was virtually blamed for a supposed absence of the Minority from the Chamber at the beginning of the day’s sitting.  

“…It must be noted emphatically that, at the time the Rt. Hon Speaker, the President, and the entourage entered the Chamber, almost all Members and Ministers were already seated in the Chamber. At any rate, walkouts and boycotts are Parliamentary tools used by members in the world legislatures for negotiation and parliamentary processes,” it added. 

 The release noted that when such parliamentary tools were employed, they were resolved through dialogues, and exactly what played out on that occasion recalling that was not the first time that Members of Parliament had used such a momentous occasion to press home grievances.  

“…To make capital, impugn political motives, and place the blame on the doorstep of the Speaker is the most unfortunate and desperate attempt to dispute the sterling record of his leadership of Parliament,” the release said. 

The President delivered his last but one Message on the State of the Nation to Parliament in fulfilment of Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, which provides that “the President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament, and before a dissolution, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation.” 

This was done with the usual protocol, pomp, and pageantry. And, this being an election year, the stakes were high, and signs of an event-filled day were obvious at the very beginning of the day. 

Meanwhile, an alleged planned boycott by some Members of the House posed a threat of disrupting the address that was averted when the Speaker, President and the Flagbearer of the NDC prevailed on the Members of Parliament to present themselves for this constitutionally mandated duty according to the release. 

In attendance, were the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo; Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife Hajia Mrs Samira Bawumia; Madam Alice Adjua Yornas, Wife of the Speaker; the Chief Justice Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkonoo; former President John Dramani Mahama; former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and the Chief of Staff Madam Frema Osei Opare. 

The others were Members of the Council of State; Members of the National House of Chiefs; the Diplomatic Corps and the Clergy among others. 

Source: GNA 

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