General News of Thursday, 31 January 2002
Minority Leader, Alban Bagbin has described President Kufuor's Sessional Address to Parliament as "uninspiring, without focus and lacking priority." He said the address was rather disappointing," because it talked about business as usual, outlining projects and programmes that were initiated and approved by the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. This goes to vindicate us that we, as a government were doing the right things, so far as the development of the country was concerned."
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Bagbin said the Minority thought that after one year in office, President Kufuor was going to come out with new plans and projects that his government was going to implement leading to a significant socio-economic change. "He should not be telling us what we had already initiated and approved as a Parliament."
The Minority Leader said "the Accra-Aflao and Accra- Yamouransa roads for instance, were approved by the last Parliament and is nothing new to us. We do not see anything new in the whole address. If there is anything new, somebody should call my attention to it."
He also noted that the speech was not reconciliatory as it failed to recognise the presence of former President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang, Vice-President Aliu Mahama, the Chief Justice and other notable persons, who were present. “This is not reconciliatory enough and would not help the reconciliation process that we are trying to build."
The question of recognising dignitaries, who attended Parliament, came up for debate in Parliament recently and the Speaker Mr Peter Ala Adjetey ruled that such persons should not to be recognised since they were visitors to the House.
But Mr Bagbin made reference to the State of the Union Address of the United States, where President George Bush showed respect and recognition to all the former leaders and notables present. "The opening part of the speech did nothing but attack the previous regime, giving the impression that the previous regime did nothing worthy of credit." He said President Kufuor's prioritisation that put infrastructure ahead of good governance "shows that he has misplaced priorities."