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Akufo-Addo lost good opportunity to confirm stance on LGBTQ — Haruna Iddrisu

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader in Parliament
Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader in Parliament

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has questioned why President Akufo-Addo failed to touch on Ghana’s present total debt stock as well as the country’s position on the issue of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) during his state of the nation address [SONA] in parliament Tuesday.

For Mr. Iddrisu, whereas President Akufo-Addo was bold enough to state the country’s total debt stock during his first SONA when he took over from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in 2017, the same cannot be said of him this time around.

President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday afternoon, March 9, 2021, delivered the 2021 SONA in Parliament.

Reacting to the President’s address both in and out of parliament, the Tamale South legislator said he was surprised that the president could not give an account of the country’s total debt stock, saying “the president was conspicuously silent on the national debt stock which is in the region of some GH¢297 billion.”

According to him, the country’s debt stock is about 78 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), “and you need that in order to understand how you will control the fiscal deficit, which will affect other macro-economic indicators.”

Touching on the issue of the LGBTQ+, Mr. Iddrisu said President Akufo-Addo could have used the occasion of the SONA to reaffirm the country’s position on LGBTQ+, given that it is topical.

“it is also disappointing that Nana Addo Dankwa lost a good opportunity to talk about where he stands on this LGBTQ+,” he said, adding “….he couldn’t have spoken to it at a better forum than where our laws are made, before the people’s representative.”

For Mr. Iddrisu, he (President Akufo-Addo) should be bold and courageous enough to have shared that (his stance on LGBTQ+) with us.”

He said the president also could not give specifics on the impact of COVID-19 on employment in the country as well as his commitment to fight corruption.

He again accused President Akufo-Addo of setting a bad precedent with his interference in the work of the Auditor-General.

Mr. Iddrisu said the role of President Akufo-Addo in the sacking of the Auditor-General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo from office is a bad precedent and could be used by any leader in the future to sack any head of any constitutionally mandated body.