General News of Saturday, 5 January 2013
Source: Joy Online
The Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah has described the State of the Nation Address presented by President John Mahama as a complete failure of his stewardship.
The MP argued, in an interview with Joy News, that President Mahama fell short of giving detailed account of NDC’s four-year tenure in office to enable the electorate judge how the party fared as a government.
According to Mr Kofi Jumah, he was “amazed” the President failed to take his chances but rather chose to “run away from a major opportunity to let Ghanaians know what he and his team have been able to do over the years.”
President John Mahama on Friday presented a brief, albeit, last State of the Nation Address to the Fifth Parliament under the Fourth Republic – the House is expected to be dissolved over the weekend.
“What was the need for an abridge version?” the Asokwa MP asked, “Was Parliament putting pressure on him to cut down on his speech because of time constraint or what?”
He said the President himself acknowledged that the purpose of the State of the Nation Address at the end of a government’s term is to allow the government to play on historical records and account of his stewardship.
He therefore remarked: “Is this a proper account of his stewardship? If it is, then he is a complete failure; that is what I will say.”
Mr Kofi Jumah further explained that the President was expected to use the occasion to tell Ghanaians the “state of health” of this country with respect to the economy, youth, waters, and other areas of importance.
According to him, he would have wished, being the Mills, Mahama-led government final presentation to the current Parliament, the address should have been “more comprehensive...giving brief information is not enough”. He explained that the House has very little opportunity to debate the detailed address.
But Minister of Communications Haruna Iddrisu contended that Mr Jumah’s submission was untenable, and asked him to be “fair to President Mahama”.
He said the MPs were well informed that the President would deliver the abridge version and the comprehensive statement would be presented to MPs for purposes of debate later.
He was sure that Members of Parliament would receive the comprehensive report by Saturday Morning.
Nevertheless, the Minister was hopeful many Ghanaians were inspired by the speech.
This is how Mr Haruna Iddrisu described the President’s presentation: “The brevity and humour was good, the speech itself was splendid... I think he discharged himself creditably.”
He also placed on record that former President Atta Mills laid a “well foundation for a better Ghana and he has the privilege and honour as President Mahama to anchor and build in enhancing his better Ghana agenda.”