Dramatic activities in Parliament

Author: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Mr Suhuyini Alhassan with his mouth plastered during the second State of the Nation Address by President Akufo-Addo last Thursday
Mr Suhuyini Alhassan with his mouth plastered during the second State of the Nation Address by President Akufo-Addo last Thursday

Activities in the chamber of Parliament were dramatic last Thursday when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered his second State of the Nation Address.

While the Majority Members of Parliament (MPs) urged the President on, the Minority MPs interjected him intermittently to dispute some of the figures he was presenting and demanded him to give credit to the former President John Dramani Mahama for some of the projects.

At one point, the President reacted to the interjection by stating that "Whatever be the case, the hansard (the official record of Parliament) will record me."

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, had to step in occasionally to call the MPs to order with the call: 'order, order' or 'honourable members, order'.

The Minority members were dressed in black suit, smock and traditional wear to register their protest at their purported insult by the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

Some of the Minority MPs, including the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bongo, Mr Edward Bawa, the MP for Kumbungu, Mr Ras Mubarak and the MP for Tamale North, Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu, covered their mouths with plasters during the presentation.

As expected, the Majority members were in white and other colours to show their joy.

'Oppressor's rule' echo

The drama started when the national anthem was being sung.

When it got to the line And help us to resist oppressors rule with all our will and might for ever more, the Minority members echoed that line loudly.
And when the official recitation ended, the Minority members continued to sing the line.

Professor Oquaye, joined the 'party' and indicated that it was good to sing the line: And help us to resist oppressors rule with all our will and might for ever more.

And after the delivery of the address and the national anthem was being sung, the Minority members again echoed the same line loudly.

The Majority members gave the President a standing ovation after the almost two hours address.

Ewe rendition

The President also stole the show briefly with an Ewe proverb, which attracted laughter from both sides of the House.

The proverb, which the President repeated literally means that anything precious is cooked in a precious pot.

Leaders

Moving the motion for the adjournment of the House, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said times had changed and that the days for oppression and subjugation were over.

He said only a year in opposition, the Minority members were in a state of mourning and indicated that the Minority were not ready to join them in the mourning.

Supporting the motion, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said "Mr President, we have heard you on your state of promises".

He said it was good to hear the President indicate that sole sourcing was lawful.

Mr Iddrisu said he was touched by the President's use of the Ewe proverb and hope the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr James Avedzi, would translate for the record.

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