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THE Minority in Parliament on Thursday wore black to “mourn [Ghana’s] democracy” as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo visited the House to deliver the State of the Nation Address.
Their colleagues on the Majority side were, however, adorned in colourful clothes including the traditional kente garment as a well attended Parliament received the President and his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to deliver the SONA.
Some of the Minority lawmakers, to demonstrate what they say is “oppressor’s rule”, sealed their mouths with plasters to continue with their silent protest against the use of “abusive language” on them by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
They could, however, not maintain their silence when the President entered the Chamber of Parliament at about 10:30 a.m as they unfastened the brown plasters on their lips.
Amongst the visitors in the House were former Presidents John Rawlings, John Kufuor and John Mahama.
Other visitors included the judiciary, the clergy, security chiefs, traditional rulers, political party reps and the diplomatic corps.
Dressed in a blue-black suit on top of a white shirt and a blue tie to match, President Akufo-Addo, as Parliamentary custom demands, was accompanied to the Chamber by the Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, Majority and Minority Leaders, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Haruna Iddrisu respectively.
The tipping point of the Minority’s anticipated hostilities arrived when the singing of the National Anthem was being led by the Ghana Police Service band.
To reemphasize their claim of oppressor’s rule, the Minority re-echoed “help us to resist oppressor’s rule with all our might” lyrics of the National Anthem, for several times even after the song was ended, before the President begun his address.
Speaker Oquaye, inviting the President to deliver his address, said the attendance of all three living former Presidents was an indication that Ghana’s democracy was growing stronger y the day.
President Akufo-Addo described Parliament, the seventh of the fourth republic, as the busiest and commended them for the support they have given to his government in the passage of bills that have helped in the formulation of his policies.
The ‘disruptive’ Minority intermittently jeered the President and shouted “JM Legacy” anytime the President mentioned policies which they think were the brainchild of the John Mahama led administration.
The Majority side, relatively quite on the day, cheered the President on to spite their colleagues.
President Akufo-Addo last punch of the event was when he stirred the House into loud laughter by attempting an Ewe proverb to underscore the need to attach importance to endeavours that bring development to the country.
He received a standing ovation by the Majority side upon finishing his address as the Minority refused to acknowledge him by standing up.
The debate of the SONA will commence on Tuesday when the House reconvenes.