“We are blessed with the presence of former President John Agyekum Kufuor and we have your Excellency the former President John Dramani Mahama,” Speaker Alban Bagbin mentioned them among other dignitaries present.
Mr Mahama earlier boycotted President Akufo-Addo’s SONA, an action that attracted criticisms from the Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
“Conspicuously absent [during the recent State of the Nation Address] was former President John Dramani Mahama. That certainly is not a good account of the immediate past President and [former] Presidential candidate. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo did not attend the SONA presented by John Mahama in 2013 because the NPP at the time was contesting the legitimacy of the President.
“The NPP parliamentary group boycotted the 2013 events accordingly. But it is worth commending that former President John Agyekum Kufuor attended the swearing-in of President Mahama in 2013 in his capacity as a former President,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said when he was adding his voice to the debate on the State of the Nation Address presented to Parliament by the President last year.”
He added “The matter was settled by the Supreme Court in the second half of 2013 in favour of President Mahama. The NPP minority group subsequently attended the events in 2014 because the case had been decided. Nana Akufo-Addo did not attend the 2014 event because he had travelled outside the country. In 2015, he had returned to the country and accordingly attended the event. It is instructive to note that [former] President Mahama has not attended any of the seven events that had President Akufo-Addo as the key personality. The people of this country will not forget.”
Ahead of the presentation on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, Wa West Member of Parliament Peter Lanchene Toobu said he expected the President to mention issues relating to the Domestic Bebt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
The government introduced the DDEP as part of efforts to close the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
He said the President must also assure the people of Ghana that the IMF is going to approve the deal for Ghana.
“We pray that the president will be able to navigate this country through this period,” Toobu told TV3’s Roland Walker in Parliament ahead of the SoNA.
The President is expected to give accounts of happenings in the country.
The address is respected to touch on the economy and measures outlined to solve the challenges.
This is in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 67 says the President shall deliver a message on the State of the Nation to Parliament at the start of each session and before the dissolution of Parliament.