The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has expressed regret over former president John Mahama’s absence during President Nana Akufo-Addo’s delivery of the 2020 State of the Nation Address.
He said “the people of Ghana will not forget” about that incident.
Making his concluding remarks on the debate on the 2020 State of the Nation Address, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu reminded the State of the Nation Address is an apolitical and constitutional activity hence, it was important that former leaders of the country be present.
Citing previous examples of former leaders gracing such national events even when their political parties were not in government, he said: “President Kufuor attended the swearing-in of President Mahama on January 7, 2013, in his capacity as a former president.”
NPP’s boycott of State of Nation Address had legal basis
Responding to criticisms that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus also boycotted John Mahama’s State of the Nation Address in 2013, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame constituency said the caucus abstained from being present for the event because it was litigating the legitimacy of John Mahama’s presidency.
“[It was because] the case had gone to court and settled in the second half of 2013 in favour of John Mahana, the NPP parliamentary group subsequently attended the 2014 event because at the time the case had been decided. Nana Akufo-Addo did not attend the 2014 event because at that time he had travelled outside the country. [But] in 2015, Nana Akufo-Addo had returned to the country and accordingly attended the event of President Mahama’s delivery on the State of the Nation,” Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said.
“It is unfortunate that the president [John Mahama] did not attend this particular event. The people of Ghana will not forget this,” he added.
Minority’s boycott embarrassing
Mr. Osei-Kyei-Mensah subsequently took on the Minority over their decision to boycott the 2020 State of the Nation Address, describing their conduct as embarrassing and regrettable.
The Minority in Parliament, clad in black left the Chamber moments after President Akufo-Addo took his seat in Parliament to deliver the 2020 address.
The caucus later explained that their walkout was in opposition to supposed threats against the democracy of the state and was to protest the rising state of impunity and injustice in the country.
But Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu chastised the caucus, arguing that there was no basis for their boycott.
“As for the boycott staged by the minority and the rather flip flop rationalization they have given, the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians have submitted to them that their actions that day was unjustifiable, regrettable, lamentable, unfortunate, and embarrassing not only to themselves but the country as a whole. My hope is that the parliament of Ghana will never witness any such walkouts of boycotts predicated on such convoluted excuses.