President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the eighth parliament of Ghana, which is split in the middle with the Speaker being from the biggest opposition party, must focus on the Ghana Project instead of pursuing “narrow partisan interests”.
Delivering the first State of the Nation Address of his second term on Tuesday, 9 March 2021, the President took the opportunity to, once again, congratulate Speaker Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin.
“His has been a distinguished career, having entered the 1st Parliament of the 4th Republic in 1993, and I came to meet him in the 2nd Parliament in 1997. He has been Majority Leader, Minister of State, one of the ‘three wisemen’ in a previous Government, 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and now finds himself in this elevated position of being the third most important person in the governance structure of our country”.
“It is wholly appropriated that, at such a critical period in the history of our country, my senior in Parliament and I should work together for the wellbeing of the Ghanaian people”, the President noted, adding: “Mr Speaker, I wish you well in the discharge of the duties of this high office”.
The President noted that in 2017, “I was here for the first time as President of the Republic, having won the election of 2016, and having inherited a faltering economy and an expectant people”.
“Between that time and 2020, I sought to deliver on the mandate reposed on me and my party, the New Patriotic Party, and gain, once again, the confidence of the Ghanaian people. It was by no means a straight-forward task.
We were able to deliver on most of our 2016 promises. In spite of the considerable challenges we confronted, and the setbacks we encountered, we were confident our record in office would put us in good stead before the electorate, and earn us a second term in office, which it did”.
He said it means that the reason for which the Ghanaian people went to the polls on 7 December 2020 – “to seek an improvement in their living standards and the rapid transformation of the economy – must continue in earnest”.
“It means that the clarion call of ‘Four More for Nana and the NPP to do more for you’ must be realised, and I intend to do so”, he added.
The commencement of that process, he noted, has been “facilitated by members of this House, and I am thankful to you for enabling the government to be duly constituted”.
“The expeditious and thorough manner in which my Ministers were scrutinised by the Appointments Committee, and the approval by the full House of each of the twenty-nine (29) substantive Ministers, for me, was an indication of the collective determination of both sides of the House, with mutual regard for each other, to work together for the good of the country.
“This is what the Ghanaian people demand from us by insisting on virtual parity in the House between the two major parties of our country. The realisation of the Ghana Project, and not the attainment of narrow partisan interests, must be the guiding principle of the business to be conducted in the House”, he stressed.
“As President of the Republic, I give my firm commitment to this end, and I assure Mr Speaker and the Legislature of the co-operation of the Executive in this endeavour. As I indicated in my acceptance speech on the night of 9th December 2020, now is the time for each and every one of us, irrespective of our political affiliations, to unite, join hands, stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and work hard to place Ghana where she deserves to be”.