National Democratic Congress MPs have abstained from debating President Akufo-Addo’s 2020 State of the Nation Address.
This, the Minority members say they are doing out of principle after they walked out of the House on Thursday before Akufo-Addo delivered the annual speech.
“…we are not speaking to it,” Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka told the Speaker, Mike Oquaye.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, reacting to the decision across the aisle said, the Minority’s decision must be respected.
He, however, took a swipe at the Minority for saying their decision was based on principle; saying “…I don’t know what the principle is…I don’t know the principle underpinning this decision.”
The Majority members in the House had early on vowed not to allow their colleagues to participate in the debates on the State of the Nation Address.
“We will not allow them to debate it. We will not let the Speaker give them the opportunity,” Kpandai MP, Matthew Nyindam told JoyNews after the President’s speech.
“This is the decision and so shall it be,” he asserted.
North East Regional Minister and Bunkpurugu MP Solomon Namliit Boar who was also dismayed described the Minority’s decision to walk out as “immoral.”
He said it runs counter to the interest of the people they represent in Parliament and they, therefore, have no moral right to participate in the debates.
Defending their decision not to sit in during the speech, the NDC MPs said they were protesting excesses in the Akufo-Addo administration.
According to their leader, Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu, Minority was clad in black on that day to mourn the fascist and authoritarian tendencies that have conspired to threaten the health of the country’s democracy.
He said since President Akufo-Addo assumed the reins of power, he “has conducted the affairs of state with the kind of tyranny, despotism and authoritarianism that frightens many objective observers.”