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Political leaders share perspectives on SONA

BY: Emmanuel Bonney & Joshua Bediako Koomson
Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah & David Apasera

Some political leaders have described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) as accurate and a true representation of the country.

They argued that the President pulled in an impressive performance  in his first term which was highly commendable.

They, however, said the second term provided a better opportunity for President Akufo-Addo to improve upon the incomes of Ghanaians.

Those interviewed were the leader of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr David Apasera; the running mate to the Independent presidential candidate in the 2020 election, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah; the leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Mr Percival Kofi Akpaloo, and the General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah.

Policies and interventions

Speaking to the Daily Graphic  yesterday, Mr Apasera said the government, through the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, had made a great impact on the country’s educational system.

“Previously, no government was prepared to gamble with such a move but President Akufo-Addo took it up and executed it,” he said.

On the issue of Dagbon, he was of the view that the President had to be credited for the current peace and sanity in the area.

“He actually brought peace to Dagbon.  Hitherto, everybody knew Dagbon was a war zone area and now due to his effort, Dagbon is now at peace,” Mr Apasera noted.

“I’m also happy that he expressed his excitement about the fact that the NDC had finally decided to go to the court to contest the infraction that it perceived at the last election so that there could be peace,” he stated.

COVID-19 management

Mr Apasera said the President had managed the COVID-19 pandemic well.

“The pandemic has set every nation back economically and Ghana cannot be an exception. What the government did which is highly commendable is absorbing the water and a percentage of the electricity bill.

“Personally, I think the economy has been managed so well and for the fact that we were able to move the country out of the grip of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is another plus which the government deserves some praise for,” he added.

JOY

While acknowledging the President’s commentary on the SONA, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, said the outcome of the elections, especially parliamentary results, should inform President Akufo-Addo that Ghanaians were not convinced with his governance system in his first term.

He said the second chance given him should, therefore, be an opportunity for him to turn things around for Ghanaians, especially putting expendable incomes into their pockets.

He recalled cautioning President Akufo-Addo to resist any temptation of corruption that had the tendency of bruising his government, appointing large number of ministers and also making the National Identification Authority (NIA) and One District, One Factory functional to silence the critics as those projects were quite unique to the NPP administration’s performance.

Banking sector

Mr Yeboah said Ghanaians were also expecting the government to have dealt with the perpetrators of banking sector crisis.

He said the cost of the banking sector clean-up had added to the cost of the national debt but nobody had been punished.

He commended President Akufo-Addo for his positive comments on former President John Mahama’s election petition and urged all Ghanaians to use due process to resolve their differences.

On the Free SHS policy, Mr Yeboah said although the policy was a trump card for the government, its relevance was being lost on Ghanaians, hence the need for the President to use his second term to address the economic challenges confronting Ghanaians.

LPG

Mr Akpaloo lauded the President for doing his best in the trying circumstances in 2020.

He, however, said Ghana must look at using her Sovereign Funds to boost the local economy instead of borrowing.

He also urged the government to endeavour to pay contractors to boost the local economy and improve the welfare of the people.

CPP

For her part, Nana Yaa Jantuah said President Akufo-Addo missed a fine opportunity to address the issue of  those who died through electoral violence, the huge size of government, among other issues.

“He should have said something about it even to the fact that some investigations were ongoing and extend his condolences to the bereaved families,” she said.

Ms Jantuah also said there was the need for the government to prune its huge size.

• Nana Yaa Jantuah — CPP                                                    • Percival Kofi Akpaloo — LPG