Saturday, 20 April

Speaker apologises for delayed start of State of the Nation Address

Speaker A.S.K Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Algban Bagbin, has offered explanations for the delayed commencement of President Nana Akufo-Addo's 2024 State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to Parliament.

Apologising for the inconvenience, the Speaker attributed the delayed schedule to unforeseen challenges outside the jurisdiction of the House.

Expressing regret, the Speaker conveyed his apologies to all dignitaries present, with a special mention of the Diplomatic Corps, chiefs, and other esteemed guests. 

The Speaker's statement aimed to address any concerns or inconveniences caused by the delayed start of the important national address. 

Despite the setbacks, the parliamentary session eventually commenced, allowing President Akufo-Addo to deliver his final State of the Nation Address.

The address was scheduled to have started at 10am.

However, as of 11:50am, the President was yet to begin his address.

The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Mr Sam Nartey George, in a post on X, ahead of the address by the president, revealed that the Minority caucus was not going to be physically present for the SoNA as the intention was to boycott.

"The Minority caucus is spiritually present in the Chamber for the #SONA 2024,” the Ningo Prampram MP posted.

But in a subsequent post, the Ningo Prampram MP revealed the Minority Caucus returned to the house after meeting with the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama.

He explained: “The Minority Caucus has just finished a meeting with @JDMahama and our National Chairman paving way for the Caucus to return to the Chamber for #SONA24.

“Our grievance with President @NAkufoAddo stems from his disrespect for the work Parliament does relative to Private Members Bills. His continued refusal to assent to Bills passed by the House constitutes an affront to the independence of Parliament.”

The Ningo Prampram MP indicated: “After listening to the quintessential statesman, John Dramani Mahama, we have, out of respect to him and our constituents, returned to the chamber to listen to the State of the Nation Address.”

He added: “We and our Constituents know the true State of the Nation.”

Source: Mensah